Customer Reviews: The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future--Just Enough
Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Periphery Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer CafeSociety CafeSociety CafeSociety  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Segway miniPro

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on November 18, 2011
Provides a clear vision for how the successful organization of the future will use data strategically to form distinctive competence. The authors believe future computer systems need to evolve to approximate human brains, which do not need to process instructions serially and can synthesize past experience and sensory input in real-time to make and act upon predictions. The result is more effective performance.

They use a sports metaphor that resonated with me -- just like Wayne Gretzky seemed to know where the hockey puck WOULD be two-seconds before his defenders did , organizations will be able to spot an unhappy customer before he defects, a terrorist before he acts, traffic accidents before they materialize and heart attacks in patient before they occur. Significant research is cited linking computer science and neuroscience -- very interesting material.

Ranadivé and Maney tacitly acknowledge privacy and "Big Brother" issues a bit, but seem to dismiss these concerns somewhat casually. Imagine, for example, insurance companies, universities or human resource personnel using predictive technology to reject potential applicants? This angle wasn't explored sufficiently and it made for a more evangelical technology read, rather than an objective cultural examination of the implications of this technology. Reader beware ...
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 25, 2013
Caution - this book will leave you less informed about predictive analytics than you likely were before. So pick up at your own risk. Several issues.

1) The sensationalist title and description suggest we'll be reading a useful treatment of the role predictive analytics plays in today's economy (and, that there's something particularly NEW about predictive analytics, like some recent breakthrough; or some heretofore unknown magic to the "2 seconds" referenced in the title). What we actually get is an extended blog post of randomly mixed tidbits and stories of anything where someone used a computer or a calculator to take a guess on the future, without much of an overarching thesis or structure. And, worse, mostly just stories from 10 years ago. For example, we have a guy from Reliance talk proudly about how his crack data analysts have created a churn model that predicts which mobile phone customers are likely to churn. If you think that some low-factor logistic regression model is somehow a newsworthy predictive analytics breakthrough, you've slept through your first 15 minutes of computer science classes in community college.

2) The churn prediction story at least is so simple that the book can't mess it up by its usual approach of uninformed ultra-high level discussion. Unfortunately, that's what's happening with most other stories in the book: an amateur's look at a complex topic, plus some hollow cheerleading about how more data would be cool in that situation. For example, one chapter "discusses" (not sure if I'd call it a discussion) how Wall Street traders now have models that predict what will happen in the markets. Aha. The next chapter then suggests that the Fed messed up the financial crisis of 2007 because it only finds out every 6 weeks how the economy is doing, by asking a bunch of local businessmen "how's business". (Presumably it is referring to the Fed's Beige Book.) Finally, how cool would it be if the Fed had a real-time monitor of the economy, like those Wall Street traders' models? Now - that is about the dumbest thing that I've read about the financial crisis. Take it from a former hedge fund guy. First, the Fed (like the rest of the market) obviously has a lot more frequent economic indicators than the Beige Book. Unemployment claims are released weekly; the financial crisis was presaged by a drop in home prices accurately reflected in the monthly Case Shiller index (which was also traded in the futures market); etc. Plus, the Fed has its fancy DSGE model of the US economy which surely beats the dumb Reliance churn indicator celebrated by the book in complexity by orders of magnitude. And finally, Bernanke can just pull up the stock and bond markets on his Bloomberg (which he does all the time), to see how the markets think about how the economy is doing. Second, to suggest that the Fed should just have used some of those predictive models used by traders, and it would have prevented the crisis, is just hllariously dumb. The quant hedge funds were the first ones to blow up (in August 2007!); and it was precisely forward-looking trading models that drove a significant part of the crisis. (Plus, the few hedge funds out there that did have smart views of what's happening with money and credit once the crisis played out were actively consulted by the Fed all the time.) That's not to say there isn't a hugely interesting discussion to have had about the value of economic models, whether the financial markets are really good at discounting future economic conditions in today's prices, and whether there'd be value to more real-time data sampling across the economy. But this book isn't adding anything to that discussion. It takes more than 2 seconds to think about these topics.

3) Finally, much of the book is made up of quotes like "as Wired wrote in 2011...", "as Ray Kurzweil wrote...". That's not a book, that's a blog post. If you already don't have a particularly new thesis to offer, at least compile a book that's more than just about stuff you've read elsewhere or heard someone say.

Big data IS a big deal, the abundance of data we have today in more and more industries is a relatively new thing, and our ability to manage vast quantities of data through column-oriented databases or map/reduce systems has indeed gone up. So there is a lot of room for smart discussion. That's not taking place in this book. If you want to read about the limits of statistical models, go and read Nate Silver's recent book. If you want to read about predictive models, pick up an introductory computer science book. Those at least give you information on where we stand today, and not 20 years ago.
11 comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 1, 2012
Looking at the rating given by other folks, I think my expectations were quite different from this book. Enabling me how to get 2 second advantage in atleast 1200 seconds of reading. Few pages are dedicated to the story of Wayne Gretzky's brain functioning how he skated to where puck was going to be and all the intricate functioning of brain. Another example was how someone just had a glimpse of city from sky and drew the picture with amzing detail. How NYPD folks are using software to deter crimes by writing code himself in the begining. All good, but too many of such examples. My frustration was I was waiting for 2+2 to become 4; authors have great examples, but for me, it was beating around the bush. If you are building an application with business intelligence, it may give some ideas what other people are doing or thinking but I wasn't satisfied book is loaded with supporting material only. Could not offer more than 2 stars.
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 20, 2015
I was asked by Amazon to review this book, so I picked it up again to refresh my memory about it. I only recently learned it was recommended to read something three times to get the most out of it. I'm turning pages now. It is more amazing the second time around. Concepts are well explained, but I am reviewing now so I'll understand better since I barely know how to use a cell phone; however, anyone only slightly interested in the brain, will benefit from a reading of this material.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 22, 2013
If you need convincing that the ability to anticipate the future will help you succeed, then this is the book for you.

If you want to know how to better anticipate the future then look elsewhere.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
At least a century ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes observed, "I don't care a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity." I was again reminded of that observation as I began to read this brilliant book in which Vivek Ranadivé and Kevin Maney explain how and why we can achieve success (however defined) by anticipating the future "just enough." The book's title refers to what is often the difference between success and failure. However, with all due respect to the co-authors' intentions, I do not think the greatest value of this book can be measured in terms of time; rather, in term of proceeding from the simplicity of raw impulse through the complexity of probable implications, multiple perspectives, and potential consequences to "the other side of intuition" where correct decisions can be made almost spontaneously. The U.S. Airways pilot, Chesley Burnett ("Sully") Sullenberger III, who successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River off Manhattan, New York City, on January 15, 2009, offers an excellent case in point. Once aware of the circumstances, he made the correct decision with little (if any) consideration of options. The same is true of countless other airline pilots as well as diagnostic surgeons (especially in hospital emergency rooms) and military leaders in combat who quite literally must make life-and-death decisions.

Long before Malcolm Gladwell published an article in The New Yorker that was later developed into a book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Michael Kami (in Trigger Points, 1988) and then Andrew Grove (in Only the Paranoid Survive, 1999) explained how and why, as Ranadivé and Maney describe it, "judgments made in two seconds are often more accurate than those made after months of analysis." For decades, we have known - as revealed by a wealth of research in psychology and behavioral economics on the adaptive unconscious -- that mental processes can work rapidly and automatically from relatively little information.

However, there is an "if" (a HUGE "if") and it is this: Those who wish to develop a more predictive brain, one that can quickly process huge chunks of information, and then act upon that information, must be willing to commit the time and the attention required. That's what Sullenberger demonstrated when deciding to land the plane on the river. Wayne Gretzy always claimed that his advantage was knowing where the puck would go. Larry Bird describes his advantage differently but makes the same point: "When I'm playing basketball, everybody else seems to be moving in slow motion." It probably took all three about 10,000 hours of highly disciplined, iterative practice under strict, expert supervision to develop that some luck such as being in the right place at the right time, with the right support, while developing various skills under the right conditions.

That said, the fact remains that few people are prepared to make such a commitment of time and effort and even if they did, it is possible but unlikely that they could achieve success comparable with what super talents such as Gretzky, Bird, Bobby Fischer, Michael Jordan, and Yo Yo Ma have. However, Ranadivé and Maney are convinced (and I fully agree) that many of those who read this book with appropriate can, over time, work their way through the complexity to a point at which they have increased their predictive talent. How? By increasing their knowledge and understanding of previous efforts (i.e. what works, what doesn't, and why), by strengthening their ability to recognize early-indicators of imminent probabilities (e.g. a quarterback "reading" a defense to know what to do next), and sharpening their ability to identify root causes after recognizing symptoms (e.g. an ER physician diagnosing a stranger who is near death after an traffic accident). The process of personal development that Ranadivé and Maney explain can be completed by almost anyone, anywhere, whatever the given circumstances may be.

A brief commentary such as this can hardly do full justice to the wealth of information, insights, and wisdom that Ranadivé and Maney provide. I also wish to commend them on the lively style with which they present their narrative. To those who read this commentary, I offer two assurances. First, any limits on your development - one that is guided and informed by the material in this book -- will be self-imposed. The two-second advantage must be earned and there are no short cuts. Also, the opportunities for applying what Vivek Ranadivé and Kevin Maney offer throughout any organization are unlimited, whatever the size and nature of that organization may be.
0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 21, 2014
Fascinating insight into the process of learning and mastery. The two-second advantage, the mark of top performers in every field that gives them their extra magic, is simply the result of accumulated insight into the operations and patterns of a given system. For humans, this is acquired through many hours of strategic practice.

This is really two books in one. First, the two-second advantage is applied to people. Our brains are predictive machines and whoever has the better predictive ability, gained through disciplined study and practice, wins. Next, the two-second advantage is applied to computer programming, and we see the far-reaching applications that predictive analytics will bring to our world.

The book would have been more successful if it really were split into two books, one a more self-help oriented book that focused on how people could apply the two-second advantage in their life, and the other about how the two-second advantage is changing the world via computer processing.

Fortunately, I'm fascinated by both the art and science of mastery and futurist studies, so this book worked for me. It is written like almost like a sci-fi thriller novel and held my interest throughout.

Josh Waitzkin, storied chess prodigy, says many similar things about the learning process in his book "The Art of Learning." The parallel findings in the two books are additional validations of the insights.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 3, 2014
A person who masters the art of hyperreading (300 pages in one hour) mentioned to me this theory. I was curious and definitively if you have not reviewed the topic before, it is a must read. The way it is written, makes it very easy to understand the different views about the importance of the concept.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 21, 2011
For the first time a management book that reads with the non-stop action of a thriller as engaging as the Da Vinci code. After downloading it, I could not put my Kindle down until I finished it from cover to cover.

Explaining how Cognitive Science applies to talented individuals, and extrapolating that to how we can create Talented Organizations is a stroke of business genius. No wonder TIBCO stands apart in the industry.

If IBM, Oracle, and SAP are the gorillas in the industry, TIBCO is definitely the Homo Sapiens of enterprise software.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 24, 2015
Don't buy this book. What good is a 2 second advantage when you trade a franchise big man for lint and pocket change to the most despised franchise in your team's history?

You hire a coach to be able to get the best out of his players then listen to one who's alienated every star player he's had. That's a 2 second advantage that's actually the fastest way to draw the wrath of your fans and get laughed at by every owner in the league.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse