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While my name is the one that’s on the cover, this book reflects the collective wisdom of a much larger community.

The genesis of this book was a problem that a friend of mine named Gary Langenfeld had and a conversation that we had as a result. During that conversation, he encouraged me to write this book. That conversation then led to a series of critical discussions with Mark Lewis, a friend of mine who is also a venture capitalist. Over the years, and thanks to a series of experiences that were facilitated by Ken Harrington at Washington University, I was able to flesh out this book and turn it into what it is today.

Of course, Gary, Mark, and Ken weren’t the only people who helped me bring this book to life. Over the years I was helped, influenced, and encouraged by a large number of other people, including Shante Redding, Chris Dornfeld, Andrea Reubin, Kristin Daugherty, and Rosemary Gliedt at Washington University in St. Louis and a number of other people both in St. Louis and around the country including Gil Bickel, Mike Bronowitz, Guy Kawasaki, Bill Meade, Geoff Moore, James S. O'Rourke IV, Al Ries, Russ Roberts, Bill Simon, Pat Sullivan, Tom Walsh, Mike Wilcox, and Carter Williams. I would like to thank my team of proofreaders, which includes Mary Ellen Sliment, Cyndee Sullivan, and Doug and Kathie O’Leary. I would also like to thank my stellar graphic designer, Katie Robinson.

Finally, I’d like to thank country singer Kenny Chesney for his song No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems which kept me focused and motivated while I was straining to finish this book.

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