"I try to learn from the past without being inspired by it. My big question is always, 'What did they try, and why did it work?' When I hear stories of success and failure, I look for the little things that made a big difference. What conventional wisdom was shunned? . . . I avoid using a past success as a proxy for the future. After all, the dirty little secret is that every success was almost a failure. Timing and uncontrollable circumstances play more of a role than any of us care to admit.