This book is the product of a collaboration between two people, a psychological scientist and a science writer. We began talking regularly about the subject— expert performers and “deliberate practice”—more than a decade ago and began serious work on the book more than five years ago. During that time the book grew in the give-and-take between the two of us to the point that it is now difficult even for us to tell exactly who is responsible for which piece of it. What we do know is that it is a much better—and different—book than either of us would have produced alone.
However, while the book is a collaboration, the story that it tells is the story of
just one of us (Ericsson), who has spent his adult life studying the secrets of
extraordinary performers. Thus, we chose to write the book from his point of
view, and the “I” in the text should be understood as referring to him.
Nonetheless, the book is our joint effort to describe this exceptionally important topic and its implications.