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The Connected Company by Thomas Vander Wal, Dave Gray

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A book like The Connected Company is not an individual effort. Its ideas build on those of generations of thinkers and innovators. A book like this one evolves slowly, through countless conversations that lead to countless suggestions of people who must be spoken to, companies that must be understood, books and articles that must be read.

And though the task was impossible, I did try to speak to everyone, understand every company, and read every book and article that was suggested. My desk piled high with books, papers, and transcribed interviews, which were soon were marked, folded, plastered with sticky notes, and supplemented with boxes and boxes of cross-referenced index cards, diagrams, and sketches.

So many people contributed to this effort that it would be impossible to recognize them all in such a small space. But I must single out a few people whose contributions loom large.

The book would not have happened without a series of conversations with Thomas Vander Wal, which led to my initial blog post, “The Connected Company.” It also could not have happened without Tim O’Reilly, who read the blog post and saw that it could become a book.

I soon collected a small posse of people who were tremendously helpful as a sounding board for the ideas as they developed. That group included, in no particular order, Thomas Vander Wal, Michael Dila, James Macanufo, Aaron Silvers, Elliot Felix, Gary Thompson, Bo and Kristi McFarland, Rawn Shah, Gordon Ross, Matt Ridings, Amber Naslund, Ben Reason, Scott Mitchell, Chris Messina and Brynn Evans, Larry Irons, Kevin Hoffman, Andrew Hinton, Chris Heuer, Ian Fenn, Bill DeRouchey, Marcel Botha, Mike Bonifer, Richard Black, Jim Benson, Tom Graves, Alex Baumgartner, Jerry Michalski, Alison Austin, Andy Budd, Christopher Allen, Chris Carfi, Joe Sokohl, Johanna Kollman, Joachim Stroh, Megan Bowe, Kevin Clark, Peter Merholz, Christian Crumlish, Sheila Kim, Monique Elwell, Rachel Happe, Kevin Jones, Todd Sattersten, and Dr. Richard Gray.

I also had tremendous help and support from my colleagues at Dachis Group, specifically: Jeff Dachis, Dion Hinchcliffe, Peter Kim, Ethan Farber, Brian Kotlyar, Susan Scrupski, Amanda Johnson, Lara Hendrickson, Lee Bryant, John De Oliveira, Erik Huddleston, Jen van der Meer, David Mastronardi, W. Scott Matthews, and Aric Wood.

I have also had the privilege to receive help and advice from true luminaries, such as Richard Saul Wurman, Saul Kaplan, Kevin Kelly, Jared Spool, Peter Vander Auwera, Dan Roam, Thor Muller, Paul Pangaro, Lane Becker, Peter Morville, Lou Rosenfeld, Nilofer Merchant, John Hagel III, JP Rangaswami, Doc Searls, Stowe Boyd, Jay Cross, Marcia Conner, Ben Cerveny, Chris Brogan, Bob Logan, David Armano, Alex Osterwalder, and Don Norman.

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Although I don’t know them personally, for the ideas in this book, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the works of Gary Hamel, Clayton Christensen, Arie de Geus, Ricardo Semler, Eric Beinhocker, Daniel Pink, Richard Florida, Stewart Brand, Bill McKelvey, Stafford Beer, Herbert Simon, John Boyd, and perhaps most of all, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, many of whose groundbreaking ideas are only now being realized.

For the access they provided to connected companies and their inner workings, I must thank Ray LaDriere, Kevin Kernan, Michael Bonamassa, Jerry Rudisin, Sunny Gupta, Adrian Cockcroft, Harry Max, Mary Walker, Mark Interrante, Ben Hart, Livia Labate, Sherri Maxson, and Sharif Renno.

I must single out for special recognition my friend, Bo McFarland, who took the whole project under his wing and spent many hours providing detailed feedback and serving as a high-level advisor to the project. Special mention is also due to Jay Cross, Sheila Kim, Larry Irons, Shara Karasic, Dan Miller, Richard Black, and Monique Elwell, who provided detailed and much-appreciated feedback on the manuscript.

I cannot neglect the stellar team who worked ceaselessly on the design, production, and promotion of the book: Bill Keaggy, Julie Steele, Edie Freedman, Jenny Murphy, Betsy Waliszewski, Steve Weiss, and Sara Peyton.

And most of all, I need to thank my family, for their help and forbearance: Michelle, Isaac and Aly, Rick, Dan, Mom, and Dad.

To all of you: thank you!

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