Quotes for Entrepreneurs – January 2009

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

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“Access to information doesn’t make you well-informed any more than a library card makes you well-read.”
Bernard Robertson

This seems related to

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.”
Samuel Johnson

But I think it’s a more appropriate warning for the Age of Google we find ourselves in. I came across this originally in Mark Zimmerman’s Zhurnaly entry “Superficial Research” which also points to “If a Tree Doesn’t Fall on the Internet, Does it Exist?

Here is the deeper issue for entrepreneurs: early markets aren’t directly discoverable through Google.

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“I hope that all of you act on this. If you don’t, fewer of you will be listening to someone else next year at this time.” Irwin Federman

I like this approach of the CEO putting himself “in the same box” with his employees. It was at the core of two blog posts:

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“The Industrial Revolution did not occur when we built steam engines, but when we used steam engines to build steam engines.”
Phillip Armour

I always thought the computing revolution was the first to build on itself but clearly steam, electricity, steel, mass production, and others had the same effect.

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“The umpire’s mantra of quick to decide, slow to anger has served me well professionally for many years.”
Mike Coop

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“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
Mark Twain

Particularly good advice to bear in mind during a demo or a sales call.

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“The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.”
Richard Hamming

Hamming’s lecture “You and Your Research” deserves a blog or two at some point.

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“Don’t confuse selling with installing. ”
Hal Stern

Strictly speaking this quote may predate Hal Stern. My source is Larry McVoy. This would be #6 on “5 Things to Remember When Selling a New Product

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“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Mark Twain

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“Fairness is not an attitude. Fairness is a skill.”
Brit Hume

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“A nexialist is skilled in the science of linking the knowledge of one field of learning with that of other fields.”
A. E. Van Vogt

Context (full quote from Van Vogt’s “The Voyage of the Space Beagle“) is

“Nexialist: one skilled in the science of joining together in an orderly fashion the knowledge of one field of learning with that of other fields”

This quote inspired Ted Nelson from an early age.

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“Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.”
Gehm’s Corollary to Clarke’s Third Law

Arthur C. Clarke’s Three Laws from his essay collection “Profiles of the Future

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Advanced technology is indistinguishable from a sufficiently rigged demo.”
Andy Finkel

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“A successful firm’s cash flow provides a good living for owners & employees and the profit necessary for continued growth.”
Norm Brodsky

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“I’m not afraid…I was born to do this.”
Joan of Arc

My pick for the opening quote of 2009. And an emotion I identify with as an entrepreneur.

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