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The Age of Speed: Learning to Thrive in a More-Faster-Now World Hardcover – September 4, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Bard Press; 1 edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885167679
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885167675
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,249,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Business consultant Poscente employs velocity as a catchall term for explaining how to thrive in our hyperstimulated society. A former Olympic speed skier, he explains how people and organizations can best equip themselves to surf the endless assault of tasks and data familiar to any office worker. To him, speed both causes and solves the ambiguity surrounding high technology and the competing demands of career and personal life. But even if speed is the answer, this book doesn't uncover any insight that hasn't occurred to anyone who's ever stayed late tapping out e-mails. For case studies, the book wheels out long-suffering Eastman Kodak as an example of a Zeppelin that couldn't keep pace with new technology. Google, meanwhile, is a Jet that upped the ante. But readers who want to learn from that savvy company would be better served by other studies than this brief sketch. Poscente dallies on the Aligned Organization and the notion that work is no longer a place—it's a state of mind, but the result is a string of business clichés. With almost every other page left blank, Poscente's kind enough not to demand too much of his readers' time. But the lack of substance ensures that they'll forget it even faster. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"God bless Vince Poscente...a good counterpoint to all the handwringing that technology is sapping our very souls." -- Austin American Statesman

"Illustrates why harnessing the power of speed is the ultimate solution for those seeking less stress, less busyness, and more balance." -- Soundview Executive Book Summaries

"The trick isn't trying to slow things down but knowing when and how to speed them up." -- Chicago Tribune

"Thought provoking new book ...advocates coming to terms with --nay, savoring -- the `more-faster-now world'". -- TIME Magazine

"Presented briskly - and at times it's as light as a balloon, with its breezy call to turn speed into an advantage. And he helps us address the world more realistically, providing a glimmer of how to beat the tortoise or soar like a jet." -- Toronto Globe & Mail

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Customer Reviews

A fast and furious read, the AGE OF SPEED provides great insights and excellent tips throughout.
Colleen Rickenbacher
If there was one book I would recommend reading on the subject or the increasingly fast pace of our professional and personal lives this would definitely be it.
Tim D from Dallas
It's really not that "speedy" of a read, but I felt it just didn't have that much information or "meat."
Sharon Michaels

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Northcutt on October 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I notice that most of the reviews are positive and am surprised that I have such a different view. Based on the strong reviews, I picked this as my latest airplane read. The book is divided into 36 short essays that are usually about two pages long. A lot of the material is redundant. The author has a fairly anti-blackberry bias, which is fine, I can certainly understand that, though my iPhone has been a real advantage to me in achieving speed.

He creates an easy to memorize taxonomy of people and businesses, Zeppelins that can't achieve speed, balloons that don't have to, bottle rockets, fast, but misguided, and jets which is what we want to be. It was a good start, but should have been developed more.

The book does preach against multi-tasking, something we are starting to see more of and those are valuable thoughts to consider, though I am personally not planning to give it up at this point.

My favorite essay was from the author's personal experience, racing across a tightrope, I would have loved to have seen that.

The bottom line, mildly entertaining, the author has lead an interesting life, but the book will not help you and the time spent reading it is better invested trying a different book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. W. Schreiter VINE VOICE on April 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Olympic-speed skier turned business consultant (and "Speaker Hall of Fame" inductee) Vince Poscente reveals "for everyone feeling trampled by the speed of life and business, how to get ahead of the rush once and for all." He identifies four behavioral profiles: Jets (the best), Bottle Rockets, Zeppelins and Balloons.
Rarely have I seen a book that offers so little content for a $22 hardcover list price. The 232 pages are padded with 44 full-page chapter and section headings and full-page quotes like "We drown ourselves in trivia and excess." It also contains space-filling "Fast Facts" like "Thirty-six people died when the 804-foot Hindenberg exploded and crashed into the ground in 1937. It was filled with more than seven million cubic feet of hydrogen" and "Reverend Run of Run-DMC is Russell's little brother." Page 12 offers a half-page definition of a Mach number.
After reading a few banal observations (for example, Technology has made life busier and more complicated and Blackberries have the potential to erode productivity) I reviewed the index to find anecdotes on a few companies of interest and then returned this book to the library. This material might support a solid oral presentation but has been stretched far too thin for this medium.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was desperate for a read for the flight back from Tampa, and finally found this book at the airport. I can understand why some folks are impatient with it and spontaneously derisive, but as someone with over 1000 non-fiction reviews under his belt, I'm going to come down solidly in favor of this book. The Lord's Prayer is short and simple and not the Bible. Let's keep this in perspective.

Any book capable of getting me to put down five pages of notes on an airplane is a five star book. Either you get it or you don't. This book is not a how to build a company book, it is a how to think about building a company in an age when you either become one with the highway, or you become road kill.

I found the presentation including the mostly dark separation pages attractive. This book is a "just enough" book for reflection, not a tome trying to prove there are ten thousand angels on the head of a pin.

Now here are my notes, don't buy the book if you do not like my notes:

+ Speed trumps privacy, expense, convenience, and fear.

+ Crackberry can drop your IQ by ten points (2.5X smoking marijuana)

+ Speed no longer a luxury, now an expectation

+ Haves and Have Nots now joined by Haves NOW and Haves Later

+ Time is the ultimate irreplacable commodity (it is possible I appreciate this author more because I see the connections--for example, on this point, Colin Gray, author of Modern Strategy, says that time is the one strategic variable that cannot be bought or replaced. This happens to be REALLY IMPORTANT.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Aiman Said on December 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I tried very hard to extract any value out of this book, but without any luck. the only good thing about it is the quality of paper and production. Its pages of boring text with no clear goal or target.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. L Lamendola VINE VOICE on November 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Years ago, I traveled and spoke on time management. I stopped doing that after I realized that there was something inconsistent about wasting several hours in airport lines while presenting myself as an expert on time management. Vince Poscente had all kinds of options for what kind of book he'd write on the subject of speed. He chose to write a book that's a quick read. That seems fitting.

The book has 36 short chapters, with four pages probably the average length. Nearly every chapter serves to make only one point. The book is in eight sections, each of which is about the length of a normal book chapter. To me, those are the actual chapters.

But it's more useful to see this book as consisting of four parts:

In part one, Poscente describes our age of speed and gives his take on how we got to where we are. Then, he shows that speed isn't good or bad in itself. It's what you do with it that counts.

In part two, he looks at how people cope (or not) with speed. He presents four profiles:

1. Zeppelins are slow-moving folks who have a tough time maneuvering or changing course quickly. They are dangerous and potentially explosive.
2. Balloons just happily float along. They don't seek speed and don't need to. They interact with our fast culture only from a distance.
3. Bottle rockets embrace speed, but do so without a real purpose. They can blow up in your face.
4. Jets move very fast, but have outstanding records for reaching their destinations safe and intact.

In part three, he presents three "A" characteristics that really matter in our age of speed: agility, aerodynamics (reducing drag), and alignment. This is modern time management material, and his spin on it is personalized but accurate.
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