To borrow a phrase from J. R. R. Tolkien, this book was an unexpected journey. Being an author was not a path I foresaw for myself, nor was it something I was trained for. For most of my life I considered myself more of a numbers guy than someone adept with words. Early in my professional career I advanced more on the strength of my analytic and mathematic skills than I did on my skill as a writer.

I love music, and music is essentially math—megahertz, decibels, and rhythm—mixed with storytelling (lyrics, backstory, and soul). Music has power because stories have power.

Part of the joy of working at The Cambridge Group is how easily and regularly stories emerge from behind the numbers, thanks to the “lyrics” supplied by consumers. ...

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