Review of The New Polymath

June 29, 2010
Written by Ameed Taylor

Vinnie Mirchandani’s new book; The New Polymath, is full of profiles and case studies that illustrate how the New Polymath’s within many industries are creating disruptive innovation to leapfrog their competition and introduce innovation to their respective industries and customers.

The  book’s chapters on Technology and Cloud Computing profile  innovations of technology vendors. In particular, Mirchandani uses many examples from the Cloud Computing industry. Calling Cloud Computing the convergence of Marc Benioff’s “Democratization of Technology” with Marc Manos’ “Industrialization of Technology” Mirchandani cites diverse case studies from Japan Post Network to Salesforce.com in the New Polymath to prove his point.

One profile focuses on how Netsuite uses its shared cloud infrastructure to quickly adjust its business based on market conditions and to benchmark against its competitors. Netsuite hopes to use its collected customer metrics to create Business Process Outsourcing Partnerships that will allow its customers to monitor business process metrics that up to now have been extremely difficult to gather.

In yet another example of the innovation inherent within the cloud, Mirchandani cites Cloud Computing poster child Appirio. Appirio has not owned any servers since its inception and runs all of its operations from lead generation to payroll in the cloud. Unlike its competitors Appirrio only used 2% of its revenue on internal IT versus the industry average of 7%. This type of advantage allowed Appirio to utilize more of its venture funding and initial revenue’s for R&D and customers activities thus allowing the company to grow from 5 to 200 employees without an IT department.

Like the Cloud Computing vendors; who are Polymath’s for bringing disparate technologies together for customers, Mirchandani deftly brings together disparate examples in an engaging book that provides readers a guidepost in how to also become a Polymath.

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