When unusual combinations produce unexpected results

great marketing ideasI’ve just finished reading an intriguing book – The Medici Effect, by Frans Johannson. The idea is simple: when two unrelated fields cross over, you enter what Johannson calls ‘the intersection’. And great ideas result – sometimes. The name comes from the Medicis, the family of bankers in fifteenth-century Florence. They brought together sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers and more, and broke down the barriers between disciplines and cultures. The result was the Renaissance. Johannson himself is a result of an intersection. His father is Swedish, his mother American (of black/Cherokee origins). He was brought up in Sweden but lives in New York. Like all the best business books, it’s peppered with anecdotes that bring the theories alive. And from memes to monkeys playing computer games, from Richard Branson to turds in a blender, this book’s got it all. The Medici Effect was voted one of the 10 best business books of 2004 on Amazon.com, and has been translated into 13 languages. You can buy it here.