I must start by acknowledging the people who shaped my early steps along the path to writing this book. In graduate school, the juxtaposition of my two co-chairmen, Thomas Critchfield and Roger Blashfield, contributed to my ability to think outside of the bounds of the status quo. Thanks to both of you, for challenging me intellectually and encouraging me to finish the program—by being scrappy, when necessary. I never did publish my major area paper. Will this suffice?

Thank you, Mary Hekl, for convincing me to “take the leap of faith” and join Google. That was where this book idea first took root; it then grew, for five years, before becoming a reality.

Thanks to Bill Baker for the dinner conversation and the Dolores Park brainstorming session, which underscored my belief in the book and inspired me to take it seriously. Your notion of “high-impact junkies” is important. You still need to write your book.

My book goal officially took off at my thirty-sixth birthday dinner in New York, perhaps one of the most inspiring dinners of my life, followed by the Creative Day of Genius on New Year’s Eve 2011. I have two people to thank for this:

Michele Assad: From our crib sessions as babies to our phone sessions halfway around the world from each other today, I could not have navigated life without you. You are audacious, brave, smart, savvy, beautiful, strong, and tenacious—essentially everything I could possibly want in a big sister. You paved the road for me to think ...

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