- "Diana Nyad, who was breaking records in open water swimming left and right in her 20s and 30s, didn’t accomplish her most coveted goal until she was 64 years old." (emphasis added)
- "Anna Mary Robertson Moses, nicknamed Grandma Moses, was an embroidery artist for many years... But at the age of 78, after arthritis made it difficult for her to continue embroidering, she began painting instead. She was entirely self-taught, using whatever she found around the house to paint her early paintings. It wasn’t until age 90 that she was discovered and began exhibiting her work internationally." (emphasis added)
- "Momofuku Ando ― Though you may not recognize his name, if you’ve spent any time as a penniless college student, you're likely very familiar with his work. As a penniless 47-year-old man due to a bankruptcy, Ando invented what we now know as Cup Noodles and Top Ramen."
- "Vera Wang ― Wang was a standout figure skater in college, placing fifth in two U.S. National Championships. She even spent 15 years in journalism at Vogue. But it wasn’t until she was 40 that she really hit her stride in the fashion industry, opening her first bridal boutique. Today Wang is 'arguably the most prominent designer of bridal wear in America.'"
Thompson concludes with this quote from Malcolm Gladwell: "...sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it's just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table."