Two Beats Ahead

What Musical Minds Teach Us About Innovation


By Panos A. Panay

By R. Michael Hendrix

Read by Landon Woodson

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  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged) $24.99
  2. ebook $16.99 $21.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $28.00 $35.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 6, 2021. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Discover what the musical mind has to teach us about innovation in this fascinating book, featuring interviews with Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, T Bone Burnett, Gloria Estefan, Imogen Heap, and many more.  
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’s no coincidence that some of the world’s most respected creators are also entrepreneurs.
In Two Beats Ahead, Panos A. Panay, senior vice president for strategy at Berklee College of Music, and R. Michael Hendrix, global design director at IDEO, interview some of the nation’s top musicians and business leaders about how they approach innovation differently. They speak with hit maker Desmond Child about the importance of demoing and with industry legend Jimmy Iovine about listening and knowing your audience. Readers will learn the secrets of collaboration from Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams, about “daring to suck” from Justin Timberlake, about the power of reinvention from Gloria Estefan, and the importance of experimentation from Imogen Heap and Radiohead. And they’ll learn the value of finding and producing talent with T Bone Burnett and Hank Shocklee, cofounder of Public Enemy.
A window into these brilliant mindsets, this book equips any entrepreneur or innovative thinker with tools they can put into practice to thrive in an evolving world.


  • 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

On Sale
Apr 6, 2021
Page Count
256 pages
Hachette Audio

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A Playlist for Every Chapter

Panos A. Panay

About the Author

Panos A. Panay is the Senior Vice President for Global Strategy and Innovation at Berklee College of Music, and the founder of the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE). He is also the founder of Sonicbids, a leading platform for bands to book gigs and market themselves online, as well as co-founder of the Open Music Initiative. He has spearheaded multi-disciplinary collaborations between Berklee and MIT; the design firm IDEO; and Brown University. Panay has been named to Fast Company‘s “Fast 50” list, IncMagazine‘s “Inc 500,” and named as one of Boston Globe‘s “Game Changers” among other awards and honors. He has spoken about the future of the music industry on programs such as CNBC’s Squawk Box, at events such as the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland and has delivered keynote addresses at events and universities around the world.

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R. Michael Hendrix

About the Author

R. Michael Hendrix is a Partner and the Global Design Director at design and innovation consultancy IDEO, where he has worked on everything from home goods to homeland security. His illustrious 25+ year career has made him a sought after speaker; he has delivered design keynotes at Fast Company, WIRED, SXSW, AIGA, FUSE, HOW, and Design Management Institute among others, plus music keynotes at SXSW Music, Sonar Plus and Moogfest. He also is a an Assistant Professor of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music and a regular guest lecturer for professional societies and universities across the globe.

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