Over the past few days, we have witnessed Olympic medalists beating out their rivals by the narrowest of margins. For instance, Michael Phelps tied Mark Spitz's record of winning seven Gold medals in an Olympic competition (which Phelps now surpassed by winning eight Gold medals) by beating Milorad Cavic by 1/100th of a second in the 100 meter butterfly. Also, Dara Torres, the oldest Olympic swimmer at 41-years of age, won a silver medal in the female 50-meter freestyle swim. She missed winning the gold medal by 1/100th of a second.
Further examples of how one second, one second, one bullet, one word, one vote have changed the world are contained in The Power of Incremental Advantage: How Incremental Improvements Produce Dramatically Disproportionate Results.