Quotes for Entrepreneurs – July 2009

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

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“Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few.”
Robert Heinlein in “Notebooks of Lazarus Long

More context (bolding added)

Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect. But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please–this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time–and squawk for more! So learn to say No–and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.)
Robert Heinlein in “Notebooks of Lazarus Long

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“All the evidence of history suggests that man is indeed a rational animal but with a near infinite capacity for folly.”
Robert McNamara

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“Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first call promising.”
Cyril Connolly in “Enemies of Promise

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“Conferences enable face to face conversation among knowledgeable people, fostering serendipity and structure in serious conversations.”
Sean Murphy in “Opportunities for Serious Conversation at DAC 2009

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“A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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“Knowledge comes by taking things apart: analysis. But wisdom comes by putting things together.”
John A. Morrison

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“Some say better late than never; I say better never than late.”
William Bosville

From The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals. Volume 2
William Bosville (1745-1813), called colonel, but really only lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards, was a noted bon vivant, whose maxim for life was “Better never than late.” He was famous for his hospitality in Welbeck Street. A friend of Horne Tooke, he dined with him at Wimbledon every Sunday in the spring and autumn.

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“The work of an unknown good man is like a vein of water flowing hidden in the underground, secretly making the ground greener.”
Thomas Carlyle

I used in “Success for a Bootstrapper” and again in “No Man Is a Failure Who Has Friends.”

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“Number of watchmen required to watch the watchmen watching the watchmen tends to double every 18 months.”
Alan Moore’s Law comment by scalpod in “Intel Describes the Age of Equivalent Scaling

Hat Tip to Christopher Clee in “Moore No More

I think that there is a relationship between Moore’s Law and Alan Moore’s Law and that is automated checking begets quality. I quoted Howard Landman’s old signature in NuSym DeCloaks:

  • Patterson’s Precept: Inexperience coupled with ambition leads to very large designs.
  • Landman’s Law: In any sufficiently large design, if there is a type of error for which you have no automatic way of checking, then the final design will contain at least one error of that type.
  • Landman’s Lemma: All designs are now sufficiently large. See Patterson’s Precept.

Kevin Kelly recently wrote “Was Moore’s Law Inevitable?”  a long essay about Moore’s Law and a family of companion curves for magnetic medium, broadcast media bandwidth etc.. that “demonstrate the effects of scaling down, or working with the small. In this microcosmic realm energy is not very important. We don’t see exponential improvement in efforts to scale up.”

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“If software development were entirely the application of existing knowledge it would be a manufacturing activity and we would automate it.”
Phillip G. Armour “The Learning Edge

Hat Tip Brad Pierce’s “Learning is Not a Comfortable Activity

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“Ability is nothing without opportunity.” Napoleon Bonaparte

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