September 14, 2004
News & Opinion: Inside The Medici Effect
As promised yesterday, here comes more about The Medici Effect, my new book published by HBS Press. Basically, The Medici Effect takes you on a fascinating journey to the Intersection: a place where ideas from different fields and cultures meet and collide, ultimately igniting an explosion of extraordinary new discoveries. I calls this proliferation of new ideas the Medici Effectreferring to the remarkable burst of creativity enabled by the Medici banking family in Renaissance Italy. The culmination of three critical factors the movement of people, the convergence of science, and the leap in computationare increasing the number and types of intersections we can access today. By stepping into these intersections we enable an exponential increase in the number and types of idea combinations that can occur. This book is not about the Renaissance, nor is it about the Medici family. Instead it is about the effect they created and how we can do the same in our own lives and organizations. It looks at the process behind this explosion of new ideas and the special challenges we face while executing them. May sound like a simple concept and it is but if I have done my job the book will not regurgitate the same idea twice and should be surprising you at almost every turn. A lot of research went into the development of The Medici Effect since theory plays a very big part of it. I devoured thousands of pages, dating back to the origins of creativity and innovation research. Even more interesting were the many interviews I had with people and teams that operated at the Intersection You will learn about the origins of the game Magic, about the connection between violence-prevention and health-care, what termites and groundbreaking architecture have in common, and even about Shakira and Shrek. Explore amazing recipes by one of the worlds most innovative chefs and hang out with one of the worlds most prolific inventors (and you will not have heard of this guy, even though he has most definitely affected your life in many ways). Learn how a diverse team managed to read the mind of monkey, about a fashion designer inspired by the mythical creature called the Chimera and understand the true meaning of the the Medici Effect! You can check out more about the book here: www.themedicieffect.com. More on other books and the process of writing soon.