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The contents of this book come from research, the authors' experiences, and the insights of industry insiders. Associates at top firms as well as industry leaders were interviewed for every chapter to provide a robust perspective on the field. Their insights are interwoven into the chapters, and there are some short profiles and interviews to provide context for people's personal experiences.

Some interviewees preferred that their insights stay anonymous; however, the list below provides a sense of the range and depth of expertise that contributed to the text:

  • Alan Schwartz, executive chairman of Guggenheim Partners, former CEO of Bear Stearns
  • Ben Casnocha, entrepreneur (founder of Comcate), one of BusinessWeek's top entrepreneurs under twenty-five
  • Bill Meehan, former managing director of McKinsey & Company and founder of the firm's private equity and venture capital practice
  • Bill Shutzer, senior managing director of Evercore Partners, former managing director of Lehman Brothers
  • Bruce Evans, managing director of Summit Partners
  • Charles Farkas, senior director of Bain & Company
  • Chuck McMullan, executive director at UBS Investment Bank
  • Chris Galvin, former CEO of Motorola
  • Craig Foley, founder of Chancellor Capital Management, first institutional investor in Starbucks
  • David Rubenstein, cofounder of the Carlyle Group
  • JB Cherry, managing director of One Equity Partners
  • Jamie Irick, general manager at General Electric
  • Jeff Hurst, cofounder and managing partner of Commonwealth Capital Ventures
  • Joe Fuller, cofounder and CEO of The Monitor Group
  • Joyce Johnson-Miller, cofounder of the Relativity Fund, former managing director of Cerberus Capital
  • Julian Robertson, founder of Tiger Management, hedge fund pioneer
  • Ken Weg, former vice chairman of Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Kip Frey, partner at Inter South Partners
  • Megan Clark, former vice president of Technology at BHP Billiton
  • Noah Glass, entrepreneur (CEO of GoMobo), one of BusinessWeek's top entrepreneurs under twenty-five
  • Peter Nicholas, chairman and cofounder of Boston Scientific
  • Richard Bressler, managing director and head of the Strategic Resource Group at THL Partners, former CFO of Viacom
  • Rick Wagoner, former CEO of General Motors
  • Ron Daniel, former worldwide managing director of McKinsey & Company
  • Sam Clemens, entrepreneur (CEO of Models from Mars), former associate at Greylock Partners
  • Seth Klarman, president of the Baupost Group, famed value investor
  • Shona Brown, senior vice president of Business Operations at Google, member of the executive committee
  • Steve Pagliuca, managing director of Bain Capital
  • Suzanne Nora Johnson, former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs
  • Tim Jenkins, cofounder of Marble Arch Investments, former associate at Tiger Management and Madison Dearborn