In reality, serendipity accounts for 1% of the blessings we receive in life, work, and love. The other 99% is due to our efforts.

Peter McWilliams

The Exponential Powerof the X-Factor

It was nearly sunrise in the city of Aguascalientes, Peru. We were waiting for buses that would take us and about 500 other people to the top of a mountain, a mystical place considered sacred by the Incas. To the rest of us, we know it as Machu Picchu. The Incas were an amazing civilization that only lasted 150 years and in that time built roads, mastered terrace agriculture on mountainsides, and engineered cities like Machu Picchu.

Once we reached the mountaintop, we climbed large, uneven stairs, taking time as we climbed to look out at the splendor ...

Get The Startup Equation: A Visual Guidebook to Building Your Startup now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.