Quotes for Entrepreneurs – December 2009

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, Rules of Thumb, skmurphy

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Quoting myself a lot this month, evidence for something. I will have to look back in a year and see how many are still useful. [Update Sat-Oct-10-2015: re-reading them they hold up quite well]

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“Facing a mirror you see merely your own countenance; facing your child you finally understand how everyone else has seen you.”
Daniel Raeburn from “Vessels

Hemingway’s shortest story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Raeburn’s is as heartbreaking: “Irene Raeburn: born December 28, 2004, died December 24, 2004.”

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“Lots of guys came and went who had way more talent.
Talent doesn’t matter all that much. You gotta show up.”
Gregory Sullivan in “Carpenter Poets

Context and full quote:

“We were the opposite of the stereotype. We weren’t frustrated musicians working menial jobs waiting for our big break in music. We liked our day jobs and played music for a little money and some laughs. Only the contractor types were worth a damn anyway, as far as music. A real music job is very much like a building contract. You have to plan, and show up on time, and stay sober, and understand the logistics of the equipment. You have to be able to set up and repair your broken tools on the spot. You have to work closely with others. You have to figure out in advance what the customer wants, and deliver it skillfully. […] We had lots of guys come and go that had way more talent than many of us that stuck. Talent don’t matter all that much. You gotta show up.”

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“Startups survive by doing less with less. They live on the scraps of a market that larger competitors ignore.”
Sean Murphy

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“Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.”
Hugh MacLeod

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“Pay close attention to the short descriptions of your product that early customers offer others.  This is your ‘elevator pitch.'”
Sean Murphy

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“What The Cloud provides is opportunity–a way to reduce the cost and risk of trying out service innovations.”
Bob Lewis

Full quote from “State of the Industry 2009

“What The Cloud provides, for companies with the wit to see it, is the opportunity to reduce the cost and risk of trying out service innovations. Focusing on IT’s ability to manage it … to control it … is a great way to make sure only your competitors take advantage of what it has to offer.

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Customer Development proceeds in parallel with Product Development, and informs it.”
Sean Murphy

Full quote from a comment I left on Steve Blank’s blog

“As soon as you can clearly articulate your hypotheses about the customer’s problem you should get out of the building and start having serious conversations. Customer Development proceeds in parallel with product development and informs it. One piece of paper with a prospect’s name and a few questions can communicate that you care about their perspective and have given some thought to making it a productive 10-20 minute conversation (if they want to talk longer you should let them, but you should be able to finish a short conversation in ten minutes or so).

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“You don’t get to say who you are, your behavior speaks for you.”
The Last Psychiatrist (pseudonym)

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“Startups should leverage their size by promising intimacy and delivering it in every relationship with prospects and customers.”
Sean Murphy

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“Character is what emerges from all the little things you were too busy to do yesterday, but did anyway.”
Mignon McLaughlin

Well worth repeating more than once, I inadvertently used it again in my November 2015 Quotes for Entrepreneurs list.

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“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”
Lin Yutang

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“I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes or of appearing naive.”
Abraham Maslow in Eupsychian Management

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