This book is not written as a personal history, but as a business story. I have tried to avoid trivialities and to confine myself to matters of instructive interest. The chief object behind every episode is to offer helpful suggestions to those who will follow me. And to save them some of the midnight groping which I did.
One night in Los Angeles I told this story to Ben Hampton, writer, publisher, and advertising man. He listened for hours without interruption, because he saw in this career so much of value to beginners. He never rested until he had my promise to set down the story for publication.
He was right. Any man who by a lifetime of excessive application learns more about anything than others owes a statement to successors. The results of research should be recorded. Every pioneer should blaze his trail. That is all I have tried to do.
When this autobiography was announced as a serial many letters of protest came to me. Some of them came from the heads of big businesses which I had served. Behind them appeared the fear that I would claim excessive credit to the hurt of others' pride. I rewrote some of the chapters to eliminate every possible cause for such apprehensions.