I'm inspired by founders who are changing the way we buy, sell, and think, which is why I joined Shopify Studios, advocated to cover changemakers and launched Founder Stories. Being an entrepreneur can be tough, and great ideas are hard to come by. A rare few have found success overnight. Some readers have gleaned insight from the former U.S. secretary of commerce, Penny Pritzker, as well as investors Mark Cuban and Boris Wertz, or rock star Gene Simmons, on where they've looked for rising stars or new opportunities.

But I've most enjoyed interviewing founders who are masters of their craft. This efficiency expert from Colorado teaches restaurants clever ways to cut costs, while certain businesses have discovered opportunities in old ideas, imperfect products and, well, trash. My inner Charlie Bucket respects how idled toy inventors found a sweet niche within the novelty candy industry.