I average a book every 2 to 2.5 years and am due one in 2014. I don’t just pick on a buzzword like Gamification or Big Data and start writing. I don’t just listen to Valley VCs on what’s hot. I use a complex set of markers from my blogging, consulting, and speaking to identify a ‘mega-trend” which becomes the kernel for the book.
With New Polymath, I saw companies were blending a wide range of infotech, biotech, cleantech, healthtech to create new solutions to tackle “grand challenges” we face. The New Technology Elite was supposed to be called the Technology Switch Hitter because I saw mainstream companies embedding technology in their products and services, and in reverse well-run tech companies becoming best practice leaders across industries in various operational areas (my publisher thought the term was politically incorrect beyond baseball usage and made the title bland. In retrospect I should have fought harder to keep the Switch Hitter title )
I have been watching a trend for a while now (and blogging related anecdotes on New Florence), and in my visit to the Mayan ruins in Mexico this weekend, found historical validation for what I think I will write about. Next up – confirming 5-6 anchor case studies, 12-15 key technology buyer, vendor, investor, analyst interviews, and identifying at least 50 anecdotes across a range of industries and countries from the New Florence database of 3,000 to flesh out the themes. Those numbers will be doubled or tripled in the final manuscript.
As readers know, my books tend to be dense with examples and end notes. This one will be similar. Many authors like to distill examples into “how-to” formats. I let the numerous case studies, anecdotes and experts themselves inspire my readers. It’s a style difference – I am like a chef who only mildly flavors the entree and lets the ingredients dominate the taste.
I also have to make a publisher decision. Many authors resent seeing their publisher keep 80 to 85% of revenues. I have less of an issue with that but for that much equity I expect a high-quality edit with vigorous back-and-forth, speed to market, competitive book pricing and passionate marketing support. Too many of the established publishers want the top line, but manage the production to a spreadsheet and somehow forget they have 10, 20, 50 times the marketing scale of the author they should be leveraging. They provide mechanical support to a book. My readers deserve more ‘soul”. As an innovation/disruption author, I am confident I can find a publisher in that vein.
Look forward to fleshing out the theme more fully and sharing more in the next few weeks. In turn, as with previous efforts, I look forward to input from my blog readers as I excerpt early versions of the manuscript.