I recently passed my first anniversary as editor of Fortune, and now feel entitled to have favorites among our annual franchises. Top of my list: 40 Under 40, which we are releasing online this morning.

It’s not just the exuberance of youth that makes this group so compelling. It is the message they send about their generation, and our future. They see no obstacle too big, no challenge that can’t be met. Asked to define success, Will Ackerly, co-founder of encryption company Virtu, says: “solving intractable problems.” Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of Sequential Brands Group, answers “achieving the impossible.” Asked the CEO they most admire, many pick Elon Musk – the man who wants to colonize Mars.

Some think their boundless enthusiasm is yet another sign of a speculative bubble. But they don’t buy it. “The economy is fundamentally changing as a result of massive technological shifts,” says Noah Wintroub, head…

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