Friday, June 24, 2016

The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson

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The Medici Effect is a book about innovation. Specifically, the author, Frans Johansson argues that innovation occurs more frequently and extraordinary inventions come to fruition when one tries to hybridize/synergize/combine/integrate/meld ideas from a diversity of more than 1 field; he called it "the intersection". Overall, the book is a simple read with very clean and concise language and a very clear message. While the arguments are not mind-blowing, the book does provide many interesting anecdotes and trivia that support the author's perspectives. If you are looking for a relatively relaxing read, and also increase your knowledge, you should pick up this book.

The book leaves with 3 key points:
1) the future lies in the intersection; if you want to innovate, find your way there
2) expect the unexpected because intersections are everywhere and you never mind what to anticipate when disparate fields collide
3) there is logic to the intersection but the logic is not obvious

>>Why 'Medici' effect? Named after the House of Medici, a politically powerful Italian family that combined the arts and banking during the Renaissance

>>Mick Pearce - Zimbabwe architect combined architecture and ant colonies in ecology
>>Leon Cooper - Nobel Prize Laureate of physics, later decided to combine brain and physics
>>George Soros - combined investment with philanthropy
>>Richard Dawkins - wrote the book "The Selfish Gene", where the word "meme" was coined - "memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain; this is called imitation" - the field of memetics is a hybrid of culture and science.
>>Sequoyah - creation of Cherokee syllabery
>>Yvonne Chu - Kimera fashion boutique (sounds like the mythical mixed creature 'chimera')
>>Steve Jobs - Pixar success in combination of computer graphics with storytelling
>>Marcus Samuelsson - Aquavit restaurant - Swedish of Ethopian ancestry breaks down barriers/associations in culinary world - attributed his success to the cultural diversity of his life

>>RSA cipher - from the codebreakers at Stanford - William Diffie, Martin Hellman, Ronald Rinest, Adi Shamin, Leonard Adleman - allows Internet security when online shopping - the idea is you own the padlock and the key to your data, and then you distribute the padlock, but only you have the key - considered revolutionary because conventionally, keys are distributed to unlock the lock.

>>Magic the Gathering - Richard Garfield - a mathematician - randomly combine ideas, try different perspectives

>>Luis Alvarez = astronomer, combines paleontology - came up with the hypothesis that a meteorite killed the dinosaurs
>>Orit Gadiesh - chairman of Bain and company - she sees trends, patterns and integrate - advocate for being a generalist in consultant
>>Frank Herbert - sci-fi write, book "Dune"
>>Hakan Lars - inventor - invented the Time Division Multiple Access navigation system for air and sea navigation
>>Richard Branson - Virgin Group founder, went from managing a record label to airline - need to for evaluation
>>Imet Prothrow-Stith - a doctor - physician + youth violence - people tell her "you are medicalizing a sociological problem."
>>Clayton Christenson - the innovator's dilemma
>>Deepak Chopra - physician + alternative eastern medicine - popularize meditation
>>Linus Torvalds - Linux creator - bold and dare to stand up to challenges and opposition
>>Mark Twain - "Courage is the resistance to fear, mastery of fear, NOT absence of fear."
>>Glass is not a liquid - that's an urban myth

>>Corning - Lina Echeverria heads the glass research group - created and manufactured glass bulbs for Thomas Edison, color tubes for TV, glass for thermometer and LCD, glass casserole dish (Pyrex) that used directly from freezer to oven without cracking, optical fibers (intercontinental telecommunications) - "have the creativity of van Gogh but lead the life of Michelangelo" - "Do something you are interested in and can get energized about"

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