Ineed to acknowledge a group ofpeople who made it possible for me to put this project together: First, thank you to the wonderful people whose life work is herein profiled; each interview was a master class for me. I wish to thank the Illinois Venture Capital Association for the opportunity to create mentoring panels that were the inspiration for the book. Also, my professional mentor, Art DelVesco, and the good partners at Wind Point Partners, for teaching me the ropes with a loose tie. Joan Shapiro, a guiding hand in my very fortunate life, introduced me to David Greising. Leslie Pratch thoughtfully aided in our quest to reach the masters. Emily Thornton of BusinessWeek was kind enough to introduce me to McGraw-Hill. And to our editor at McGraw-Hill, Leah Spiro, thank you for your steadfast commitment to doing this right and on time. I am grateful to each of you. To my loyal Partners at Prism, thank you for your patience as I traveled to conduct interviews. To my top-notch assistant, Lauren Belcher, for transcribing so long and so well and to the passionately focused Renata Johns, for your skillful research, well-crafted editing, and attention to detail, I thank you. Through this process I have gained a friend in David Greising. Thank you, David, for being a terrific collaborator, writer, and interviewer. David artfully and faithfully incorporated the voice of the professional masters who very generously agreed to participate. When looking for a writer for the project, a friend of a friend, Terri Savage, advised me what I knew in my heart but was good to hear again: "If you gave John Canning a referral for a plumber, you would make damn sure it was a good one, right?" For me and this book, David Greising is the Harry Tuttle of writers (in the movie Brazil, Robert DeNiro plays the heroic and good-natured craftsman who always appears when you need him). To my lovely and supportive wife Linda, for being my life's partner, and to my parents, who taught me that persistence is everything, thank you.