As a graduate student at Stanford, in the heart of earthquake country, I wrote a business plan to spin out university R&D and commercialize a computer model that could quantify earthquake risk in three California cities. With a modest seed investment from my family and an office in my apartment, I convinced a few friends and fellow researchers to join up. Believe me, there was no shortage of skeptics. The financial industry and academic establishment told us that the problem warranted endless study in traditional silos. Venture capitalists struggled to understand what the category and business model would be ("catastrophe risk modeling?"). Fortunately, we were naïve and had the absolute conviction that if we got the right multidisciplinary team in the room, we could create a whole new category of analytic technology—and launch a new industry.