$41 Billion Worth of Inspiration

This is a book of quotes: thoughts, ideas, and inspiration from 45 of the most successful living company founders ever to come out of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The intention here is a quick jolt of inspiration – quotes from brilliant, private company inventors and innovators that can be read in one sitting.

For those readers who enjoy a deeper dive, there is a second book lurking in the margins: advice and insights shared by the founders in interviews conducted over the course of 2008 to 2010. The interviews were edited, excerpted and approved by the founders.

We defined a successful founder as someone who launched, grew, and sold a company for approximately $100 million or more, or took their company public for $300 million or more in market valuation. I made a couple exceptions to my own rule, and founders were chosen not only based on the metrics, but also for their demonstrated ability to inspire. Every statement, statistic, question and answer in the book should be taken as a matter of opinion from these founders.

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