That was the comment from InformationWeek’s Bob Evans when he first heard the word polymath in my book title. Polymath is Greek for someone good at many disciplines. In the book, I describe polymath enterprises which are blending 3,5, 10 strands of infotech, cleantech, nanotech to create new solutions.
Little does he know I tried many times to get the publisher, Wiley to change the title after initially proposing it. Few audiences I presented to in the interim had heard the word. In contemporary English, Latin terms are more mainstream than Greek ones so many more are familiar with the term, Renaissance Person. My editors at Wiley kept saying “keep the faith” – Renaissance and Da Vinci are overused thanks to Dan Brown, they said.
So polymath stayed in the title. And it opened the floodgates.
Ben Fried, CIO at Google, in his book review uses the term bromides; one of the GE executives cited in the book uses the term biomimetics; a Wiley editor added the term acrostic to describe the R-E-N-A-I-S-S-A-N-C-E framework in the index to the book.
The book also uses the Italian term sprezzatura, the German word zeitgeist, the Brazilian-Portuguese word jeitosa, and the Japanese term shoshin.
Hey, one thing I can promise – there are few TLAs. I mean the Gartner kind. Unfortunately, the Feds made up for that. I have FAA, FTC, FCC, FDA, SEC at various places.
Thanks to the VMForce announcement last week, I did manage to bring Java into the book. There you go – there’s a little class for you 🙂