Quotes For Entrepreneurs–March 2012

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

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“Functionality is not the same as usefulness.”
Frank Hayes in “Conventional IT Wisdom

Originally mentioned in “A Good Idea is No Match for a Bad Habit

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“The revolution will not be televised—but it may be bootstrapped.”
Matt Wensing(@mattwensing)  “What They Can’t Tell You: Starting Up Outside a Hub

More context, concluding paragraphs of post:

As a founder born and raised in South Florida that’s had some measure of success (insofar as survival is a major component), this is my plan.  To tell people of the dangers in no uncertain terms, to take a chainsaw to their ideas, and to inspire them to find ways to collect money from customers first, so they can collect it from opportunistic investors second, and on their terms.  I won’t claim to be the first—there are bright and eager minds sprouting up left and right, and many more to be discovered.  But I will refuse to settle for spin.

The revolution will not be televised—but it may be bootstrapped.

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“…visual thinking is a mandatory literacy for innovation leaders of the future.”
Lisa Solomon (@lisakaysolomon) in “The Visual Thinking Revolution is Here

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“Searching for work is unpaid work”
Ville Hytonen

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“Success is largely about keeping your promises.”
Seth Godin in “Successful?

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“”Brevity is power.”
Josh Billings

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“”A codified, repeatable, reusable practice contradicts the nature of innovation, which requires difficult, uncomfortable work to challenge the status quo of an industry or, at the very least, an organization.”
Helen Walters in “Can Innovation Really Be Reduced to a Process?

h/t Chris Coldewey’s “Why Innovation Resists Codification

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“The business model canvas applications may be as much of a Procrustean bed for early stage startups as the 13 slide VC pitch deck.”
Sean Murphy

From an blog post I am still working on.

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“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”
Ursula K. Le Guin “The Left Hand of Darkness”

h/t Esther Derby (@estherderby)

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“Talent acquisitions erode potential customers’ confidence, poisoning the well for future bootstrapped startups.”
Erik Dungan

opening quote for “Honor Customer Commitments to Avoid Poisoning the Well.

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“The true value of business software is not just in what it can do, but also in how quickly and easily it can be changed.”
Ed Weissman as (@edw529)

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“You aspire to great things?
Begin with little ones.”
St. Augustine

Used as a closing quote for “Small Wins Enable Larger Wins.”

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“The name ‘sprint’ may actually be harmful to software development, because the whole business is more like a marathon.”
Michal Paluchowski ?(@mpaluchowski)

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“People know what they want because they know what other people want.”
Theodor Adorno”

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“Sometimes you need to be on the dance floor dancing. Sometimes you need to be up in the balcony watching the dance.”
Will Kamishlian in “Planning in a Bootstrapped Startup

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“We assume that because we have the label we have the knowledge”
Jean Toomer

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“Make your next move from where you actually are.”
Frank Kuppner

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“Some must live with the consequences of what they didn’t dare do.”
Wieslaw Brudzinski

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“My two favorite institutions – universities and startups – have something in common, they both eschew management, to their detriment.”
Bob Metcalfe ?(@BobMetcalfe)

Which is especially odd because they both focus on fostering learning, and management would seem to be essential to the efficient allocation of resources. I think there is a fear that management is too associated with what are referred to as “delivery skills” in “The Innovator’s DNA” and that these come at the expense of “discovery skills” and creative thinking. I think this is a false choice.

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“The aggregation of individual data does not a commons make.”
Alexis Madrigal in “Paul Graham, The Commons, and How Google Stopped Being Google

Alexis Madrigal reaches a subtle and thought provoking conclusion that would seem to be at odds with a lot of “Big Data” evangelism but I think he is right.

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“Aim to encounter unknown difficulties that you may gain unexpected results.”
Jean Toomer

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“A horseless carriage was a common idea…ever since the steam engine was invented…”
Henry Ford in “My Life and Work

Full paragraph for more context, for me this makes it seem very unlikely that he ever said the “if I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said faster horses.”

Even before that time I had the idea of making some kind of a light steam car that would take the place of horses–more especially, however, as a tractor to attend to the excessively hard labour of ploughing. It occurred to me, as I remember somewhat vaguely, that precisely the same idea might be applied to a carriage or a wagon on the road. A horseless carriage was a common idea. People had been talking about carriages without horses for many years back–in fact, ever since the steam engine was invented–but the idea of the carriage at first did not seem so practical to me as the idea of an engine to do the harder farm work, and of all the work on the farm ploughing was the hardest. Our roads were poor and we had not the habit of getting around. One of the most remarkable features of the automobile on the farm is the way that it has broadened the farmer’s life. We simply took for granted that unless the errand were urgent we would not go to town, and I think we rarely made more than a trip a week. In bad weather we did not go even that often.

See also “Interview Prospects to Find Unmet Needs, Persistent Problems, and Goals at Risk

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