The New Polymath

Tonight’s book is The New Polymath by Vinnie Mirchandani.  Actually, it’s the book I read the last two nights as it was too much to get down in one night.  I’ve been promising Vinnie that I’d read his book ever since he sent me the galleys a few months ago.  I tossed the PDF up on my Kindle which, when I got around to it, was unreadable because of the tiny font and the way the Kindle scaled the PDF to fit the page.  I promptly went on to another book and never read it.

Vinnie was patient with me and was willing to keep talking to me and provide some advice on a completely unrelated topic.  When the book came out I hopped on Amazon and plopped down whatever they charged me for the Kindle version.  And I’m glad I did, not just because I like Vinnie and his writing, but because it’s an excellent book.

For a feeling of the type of topics Vinnie covers, take a look at his blogs: Deal Architect and New Florence. New Renaissance.  Vinnie is all innovation, all the time.  Which I love.

The New Polymath was an excellent tour de force of innovation.  Vinnie served up example after example after example in an interesting and relevant framework that kept things moving, unlike a lot of business books where you hit page 79 and just stall.  In this case, whenever an example started to peak, it was time for the next one. Last night, I stopped and went to bed when I was about halfway through and considered letting the book sit for a few days but tonight when I finished dinner I sat down and finished it off.

The only chapter I found too long and uninteresting was the one on BP, but I couldn’t figure out if that was because of what’s currently going on with BP or if it was just too much by the time I got to it.  But, like a reference on someone where the inevitable “does the person have any weaknesses you are aware of” question arises, I get to point to the BP example and say “ok – that one wasn’t my favorite, but it was minor compared to all the great stuff in this book.”

It was kind of fun to see lots of friends and colleagues as examples.  This was an unexpected surprise as I hadn’t previewed the book in advance and had never talked to Vinnie about it.  Like any good polymath, Vinnie covered a lot of different ground.  While there was a tech / IT / Internet focus, there was plenty of cleantech, energy, bio, and broad business (non-tech) examples.  And there were a couple that were deliciously surprising and unexpected.

Vinnie gave me a copy of a book to give away to one of you, demonstrating his command of social media marketing.  I’ve decided to run a competition – the best haiku with the word “polymath” in gets the book.  Leave your haiku in the comments (make sure you use a valid email address so I can email you if you win.)  Show me what you’ve got.

Update: A few folks emailed me that they couldn’t find the Kindle Version of The New Polymath.  For some reason it’s not linked to the hardback edition.

  • A small rock tribute
    Iron Maiden Bruce vocal
    Living polymath

    Only cause I was listening at the time. I'm sure you'll get better.

    • Hey – you are first so you get bonus points for that!

  • Ashish

    Untrammeled, wild
    On a quest for itself
    Wonderer, polymath

  • Feld tweet caught my eyes
    Had to google a new word
    I'm no polymath

  • many years ago
    there was only unimath
    now what? polymath?

  • Pete0

    Polymath art thou?
    Many a path might you find
    To feed such a mind

  • Creative thinking
    Benefits all humankind:
    The new polymaths

  • DaveJ

    as a polymath
    I am too busy for this
    don't send me the book

  • five books weekly still
    reading from his tech treadmill
    be polymath he will

  • screendoor

    An ace polymath
    Is Feld. And for a free book
    I'll be a kiss ass.

  • Roger

    our century wakes
    streaming through technoculture
    seeks the Polymath

  • Hello polymath
    Let's spend some time together
    It's cool with my wife

  • From the beginning of time
    The movers and shakers
    Have all been Polymaths

  • Jack Chu

    O, America…
    The Land of Entrepreneurs,
    Home of Polymaths!

  • not information
    insight he seeks at night
    polymath to be

  • Mitchell Smith

    The seeds of mankind’s progress
    Is the polymath’s curious mind
    As he plants his fields of innovation

  • polymaths -seek mastery.
    grok digital analog daily.
    beginners mind helps.

  • Looking for a polymath
    A portable teleport machine
    My jetpack fits in, you seen?

    (This was a 7-9-7 haiku. Credits to Brad Feld for some of the words I borrowed from his previous post. I hope I win, I think I will really like the book.)

  • Jerry

    eclectic dreamers
    harnessing the universe:
    polymath, the few.

  • If Text Is Too Small
    Put Convert in Subject Line
    Nice Easy Reading

    • Feld is found reading, between the pages
      on iPhone, Android, Nook, or Kindle
      but never in between;

      He's a speed reader of papyrus, paper, or digital inkness,
      and consumes any media at speed, irregardless

      the text could be large, small, or any in between; Mr Feld does
      not get slowed down anywhene;

      He reads the books, and reports here to his readers, no matter what the topic… politics, literature, technology, history, or polymath in between us!

  • Tim A

    The Jack is master of none
    The Polymath a ton
    Normal Man one

  • Old Polymath all men
    If New Polymath a woman
    Then we call it "Progress"

  • Santosh

    A Summer Haiku
    The New polymath Feld
    Domo Arigato !

  • JBH

    Unlucky parrot
    Has croaked. Still, friends chirp dirges
    At her PolyMath

  • Whether tech, oil, SAAS
    Or turning plants into gas
    It's polymath's jazz

    • StartupTrekTV


      I nominate Tim A, Rini Das, Santosh, JBH, and Devon as the reigning POETS LAUREATE….

      but, screw the Haiku award… let's talk poetry here!

  • nice info 🙂

  • Things change yet stay the same. Your ace in the hole is still the jack of all trades the polymath.

  • All, thanks so much for the entries. I have been amazed at all the new media formats – from digital haiku to animotos to video interviews – readers have helped create around my book . It speaks to the enduring power of the book format, and I hope readers take part in the "wow" candidate contest the publisher is running at

    You and your candidate could each earn 3 free titles from Wiley's wide catalog. Thanks

  • It's a difficult thing to listen to feedback from your initial users, the first 25,000, and do the opposite of what they recommend. You alienate your "support base" etc etc. Tough situation.