Vinnie Mirchandani is a well-known technology blogger and the author behind the Deal Architect enterprise technology blog and business.  He has just authored a wide ranging book on technology-enabled innovation, The New Polymath . Polymath is Greek for a renaissance person. Someone like Leonardo Da Vinci who excels at many disciplines. The book has received a fair share of early praise like fresh and inviting (Benjamin Fried, CIO Google) and I am inspired by this book (Maynard Webb, ex COO eBay).

The New Polymath deals with a very interesting topic: the next generation convergence, when enterprises blend multiple disciplines to solve a particular problem. Infotech, biotech, cleantech, healthtech all come together to find solutions that were not possible some years ago. In addition, he describes various building blocks for the polymaths to leverage – from sustainability to cloud computing, and provides several examples of innovators within each of those categories. 

Vinnie interviewed Sridhar Vembu, Zoho’s CEO, for this book and also profiled Zoho on it. One of Sridhar’s quote (this interview was of course done a long time ago, but it is quite relevant this week): from the book is 

 Feature parity to Microsoft Office (and other software) will come sooner than you may think. We provide new updates every month. Cloud software has an intrinsic advantage in terms of speed of evolution. In fact, the comparison I make is between mobile phones versus wired phones. Mobile phones started out bulky and only had voice capabilities. Today, even cheap mobile phones beat expensive corporate PBX phones in terms of features, with mobility a huge added bonus.

If you are in the technology world, you will find interesting new perspectives on many innovators here. If you are not, you will appreciate his research, that took him far and wide. The book has inspiring examples from 40+ countries. It is truly a celebration of innovation and how technology is helping us meet the challenges business and life throw at us. 

Rodrigo