Ambition first, talent later: the U2 approach.

U2 would be sitting on top of the world right now, if they weren't so busy touring it. The Dublin-based band is about to begin the fifth leg of a fourteen-month global tour in South America next month.

They've grossed more at the box office in the last decade than any other musical act except the Rolling Stones. They've sold 150 million records to date, the most of any alt rock group. And they've won more Grammys (22) than any other act.

So it might come as a surprise to learn that when they first started out in 1976, they were all talk and no talent. At the time U2 could have qualified for the lowest talent-to-ambition ratio in rock history. In fact, they could barely tune their guitars or sing on key.

But they did have an ambitious dream. (See my earlier post on "big hairy audacious goal.") They aimed to be the best band on the planet.