I never knew the genius who, almost 30 years ago, decided to rank the fastest-growing private companies in America, and I don't know which Inc. employee then said, "Hey, let's spin it out into a conference," but I'd like to thank them both. Corny as it sounds, the Inc. staff gets a huge charge from putting together the ranking, writing the stories of fast growth, designing the big September issue, and then, a month or so later at the Inc. 500/5000 Conference, meeting the entrepreneurs whose companies made the list (as well as quite a few who are in the aspiration stage). It's a high for us; we leave the conference feeling inspired by the energy of these entrepreneurs. Come next year, and you'll see what I mean.