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Featuring interviews with Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, T Bone Burnett, Gloria Estefan, Imogen Heap and many more, Two Beats Ahead shows us what the musical mind has to teach us about innovation.

Musicians may just hold the keys to innovation in business. They don’t think like we do, and in the creative process, they don’t act like we do. It isn’t a coincidence that some of the world’s most respected creators, like Jimmy Iovine and Bjork, are also entrepreneurs.
In Two Beats Ahead, the Global Design Director at IDEO and the Senior Vice President for Global Strategy & Innovation at Berklee College of Music interview some of the nation’s top musicians and business leaders about how they approach innovation differently. Panay and Hendrix speak with Justin Timberlake about the importance of demoing, and discuss the essentials of acute listening with Jimmy Iovine. Readers will learn the secrets to maximizing results in a collaboration from Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams. They’ll learn the importance of experimentation from musical pioneers Imogen Heap and Radiohead, and have a front row seat in a conversation about producing with T Bone Burnett and Hank Shocklee, co-founder of Public Enemy.
Offering clear and concise mindsets that any entrepreneur or innovative thinker can put into practice, this is a one-of-a-kind business book that shows how to thrive in an evolving world–from some of the top creative geniuses of our time.

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Reader Reviews


Two Beats Ahead is the first of its kind — a book that turns on its ear the popular myth that business and the arts are at odds with each other. There is so much we can learn from musicians about innovation and creativity in business, and in this groundbreaking and riveting book, Panos Panay and Michael Hendrix show us exactly what we’re missing.”—Amy Cuddy, social psychologist & bestselling author of Presence
“I have always believed that the best outcomes in life come from the discipline of business combined with the chaos of art. All successful musicians are entrepreneurs and all great business leaders are artists. In “Two Beats Ahead” Panos and Hendrix prove it. This is a must read if you want to enjoy finding the path of least resistance to the dream you are chasing!”—Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank Investor, Chairman O’Shares ETFs
“At its heart, this is a book about the creative journey. While the main ingredient is music, it is spiced with entrepreneurship, leadership and design and served through engaging stories. The result is one that will be of great inspiration to anyone looking to expand the reach of their creativity.”—Tim Brown, Chair of IDEO and author of Change by Design
“For a long time, researchers have known that musical intelligence can awaken the nonlinear whole mind to healing, creativity and innovation. This book is a roadmap for innovators, entrepreneurs and those seeking new avenues for exploring and reimagining the future evolution of human consciousness and its infinite possibilities.”—Deepak Chopra, MD
“How we perceive the world is the key to how we act in the world. Based on their course at Berklee, Michael and Panos show that a musician’s perspective, much like a designer’s perspective, can unlock inspiration and innovation, no matter who you are.”—David Kelley, Founder of IDEO & the Stanford
“This book is not just about innovation. It may be the most provocative and thoughtful business book of its time, an approach to managing through the cacophony of fifty years of disruption.”—Jim Champy, Business Consultant and Co-Author of Reengineering the Corporation
“Great popular musicians must simultaneously master tight structures and freeform improvisation, selfless collaboration and solitary self-expression, artistry and commerce. What a treat to get an inside look at the creative process and enterprising spirit of some of the most talented people on the planet.”—Scott Dadich, creator of Abstract: The Art of Design and recipient of the National Design Award, former editor in chief of WIRED
“Being an artist isn't just a matter of having imaginative ideas—to make songs and put them out into the world, you have to use that imagination to problem-solve, collaborate, pivot, and hustle. This book shows how thinking like a musician can provide valuable lessons for entrepreneurs, educators, and anyone who's trying to create something new.”—Hrishikesh Hirway, creator and host of Song Exploder
“We all know that creativity plays a major role in the world of music, and that innovation plays a major role in the world of business.  But, are creativity and innovation two sides of a coin? Like the subjects it writes about, Two Beats Ahead is a highly creative, innovative and enjoyable book.”—Irving Wladawsky-Berger, former Chairman, Board of Governors, IBM Academy of Technology; Research Affiliate, MIT Sloan School of Management
“Insightful.”—Publishers Weekly
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