This is largely the methodology I've used throughout my career - that is, starting with a question as to what might be the properties of a set of compounds that could be invented which were unusual and unpredictable. Many times I've felt a bit like Columbus setting sail.
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It sucks to be the runner-up because I've been the runner-up for a long time in my career. I would get so close and then lose a huge movie and sometimes it's one kid who beats you out for three different movies. It's so frustrating at the time, but what's so great is the lesson you take from that, which is, 'I've got to get better.'