Quotes For Entrepreneurs–March 2011

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

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“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”
Joseph Conrad

I used this as the closing quote for “Getting Unstuck.”

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“Beware of the panacea peddlers: just because you wind up naked doesn’t make you an emperor.”
Michael A Padlipsky

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“Cover what you do what you do best, and link to the rest.”
Jeff Jarvis

hat tip to Eric Santos (@ericsantos)

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“The Army’s After Action Review (AAR) is arguably one of the most successful organization learning methods yet devised.”
Peter Senge

hat tip to Lean Library (@leanlibrary)

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“Avoidance of failure has greater evolutionary advantage than imitation of success.”
Dave Snowden in “Rendering Knowledge

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“We must beat the iron while it is hot, but we may polish it at leisure.”
John Dryden

Taken from the Dedication to his translation of the Aeneid.

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“Since little or nothing is known about the principle of magneto reluctance, diagnosing faults can be a problem.”
Mike Kraft

One of many funny lines in various Retro-Encabulator and Turbo-Encabulator videos. Googlling encabulator will waste at least 20 minutes of your time.

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“The three indispensables of genius are understanding, feeling, and perseverance. ”
Robert Southey

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“We cannot predict the spark, but we can say when a forest has accumulated dangerous levels of kindling.” Marten Scheffer quoted in “I Predict a Riot: Where the Next Dictator Will Fall

More excerpts  from the New Scientist article, the final one includes more context for the quote:

Complex systems with many interrelated variables, such as ecosystems or societies, can accumulate stresses while showing no obvious change – until they reach a point where a small stress can trigger a sudden shift to another stable state. For example, forests accumulate kindling until a spark ignites a fire.

The key to predicting regime shifts, says Marten Scheffer of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, is to look beyond individual behaviour to seek simple laws that describe a population’s collective behaviour. […] “All complex systems exhibit certain symptoms before a regime shift, including slower responses to small changes, and a tendency for all players to behave similarly.”

In the past, Scheffer says, analysts focused on the trigger that sparks change, rather than the underlying system. “We cannot predict the spark,” he says, “but we can say when a forest has accumulated dangerous levels of kindling.” Repressing revolution is not the way to achieve stability, he adds. It would be like preventing small forest fires, allowing kindling to accumulate until a big fire breaks out. But uncovering the symptoms of instability may warn societies to reform themselves before revolution happens.

Scheffer elaborates on this concept in Chapter 4 “Emergent patterns in Complex Systems” of his book “Critical Transitions in Nature and Society

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“Japanese does not have a word for excessive preparation.”
Patrick Mckenzie in “Some Perspective On The Japan Earthquake

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“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
William James

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“Death did not come with the thunderous gallop of a pale horse nor the wicked song of a blackened scythe hissing through the air. His was a quiet and patient arrival cloaked in the subtle hesitation that turns hopeful tomorrows into regretful yesterdays.”
Kep Pump

Used as opening quote for “Failure to Thrive

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“Focus primarily on making everyone around you succeed.”
Yishan Wong “The Secret to Career Success

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“We can never have enough startups that are pursuing unique solutions to important problems.”
Chris Yeh in “Can We Ever Have Too Many Startups?

More context (emphasis added to highlight quote):

Startups are a force for good because they have proven over time to be the best vehicle for pursuing innovation. But not all startups are innovative. We can never have enough startups that are pursuing unique solutions to important problems. But a profusion of “me-too” startups can actually damage the startup ecosystem by consuming the sunlight (funding, engineers) that would otherwise go to more unique and innovative startups.

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*Update March 17, 2011: I mistakenly attributed this quote in my “Life Is Too Short” post to James Michener:

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both. Enough for him that he does it well.”
Lawrence Pearsall Jacks “Education through Recreation” (1932), p. 1

The “master in the art of living” quote is actually by Lawrence Pearsall Jacks See Quote Investigator on “Master” for more details. Hat tip to Caterina Fake for “Lawrence Pearsall Jacks On Work” which triggered my efforts to verify the true author.

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