Quotes For Entrepreneurs–May 2012

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

You can follow @skmurphy to get these hot off the mojo wire or wait until the end of the month when these quotes for entrepreneurs are collected on the blog. Enter your E-mail if you would like Feedburner to deliver new blog posts to your inbox.

Quotes For Entrepreneurs May 2012

“Details as they settle with imperceptible weight but irrevocable consequences, like snowflakes falling on a baffled demon’s upturned face.”

I did a whole series of these “details as they unfold…” tag lines for my E-Mails when I worked in marketing at Cisco in the 90’s. I am scrubbing the bit rot off of them and will be reposting them here just to mix things up.  This was inspired by Harlan Ellison’s “U is for Uphir” in “A to Z in the Chocolate Alphabet” where

Without volition, Semiazas began to make it snow in Hell. Instantly, hundreds of thousands of foolish promises, idle boasts, dire threats, and contracts Satan had made containing the phrase “It’ll be a cold day in Hell” (on which he never thought he’d have to deliver) came true.

+ + +

Since we participate in the fields of advanced and rapidly changing technologies, to remain static is to lose ground.”
David Packard “The HP Way

Ironically this was used by Carly Fiorina to justify merger with Compaq, probably the worst decision HP made, if you don’t count hiring Fiorina or her two successors. More context from page 141 from the “HP Way”

“Over the years Bill Hewlett and I had speculated many times about the optimum size of a company. We did not believe that growth was important for its own sake. However, continuous growth was essential for us to achieve our other objectives and to remain competitive.  Since we participate in fields of advanced and rapidly changing technologies, to remain static is to lose ground. Also, we depended on attracting high-caliber people to the company, people wanting to align their careers only with a company that offered ample opportunities for personal growth and progress.”

+ + +

“A pinch of probably is worth a pound of perhaps.”
James Thurber in “Such a Phrase as Drifts Through Dreams”

+ + +

“Acquiring capital is easy. Acquiring customers is hard. If you’re experiencing the opposite, call me. I’ll wire the funds today.”
Andrew Razeghi
(@andrewrazegh)

+ + +

“Every guy who has done a successful start-up somehow feels he’s therefore become the philosopher-king of business.”
Jim Manzi in “How to Succeed in Business by Really, Really Trying

Context from his opening two paragraphs embeds a strong critique of autobiographies marketed as treasure maps:

First, even though every guy who has done a successful start-up somehow feels he’s therefore become the philosopher-king of business, all experience is bounded. Any observations I make apply to venture-backed enterprise software targeting scale-up. Many of the things you would do for a biotech start-up or a consumer-oriented social media business, as examples, are probably very different. Further, there are companies that exist to sell products at a profit, and companies that exist to sell equity to investors. I only know about the former. The latter tend to flourish in the later stages of a bubble, and rely on a totally different set of skills related to promotions, networking and PR.

Second, even within the universe of relevant companies, all “rules for success” are either obvious or incomplete. Each suggestion in this post will be incomplete, in that it will ignore inevitable exceptions and complications. In other words, there are no rules for success. If there were, lots more people would do successful start-ups.

I used this in “Jim Manzi: Focus on Delivering Value to Customers at a Foreseeable Profit.

+ + +

“Strategy is crossing a valley: accepting short-term losses to reach a higher hill in the distance.”
Neal Stephenson

paraphrased from

“Any strategy that involves crossing a valley—accepting short-term losses to reach a higher hill in the distance—will soon be brought to a halt by the demands of a system that celebrates short-term gains and tolerates stagnation, but condemns anything else as failure. In short, a world where big stuff can never get done.”
Neal Stephenson in “Innovation Starvation

+ + +

“When you see a good move, look for a better one.”
Emanuel Lasker

+ + +

“We’re all connected. Knowing people is worthless. Trusting people is priceless. Choose advisors people trust not those who ‘know people.'”
Andrew Razeghi
(@andrewrazegh)

+ + +

“Empathy isn’t dictated to us by a focus group or a statistical analysis. Empathy is the powerful (and rare) ability to imagine what motivates someone else to act. […] What is required is a persistent effort to understand how other people see the world, and to care about it.”
Seth Godin in “If I Were You…

Used for the opening quote to”Conversations with Prospects: Practice, Review, Share Notes, and Ask for Feedback

+ + +

“Focus on delivering value to customers at a foreseeable profit.”
Jim Manzi in “How to Succeed in Business by Really, Really Trying

Used as the title for  “Jim Manzi: Focus on Delivering Value to Customers at a Foreseeable Profit.

+ + +

“Our greatest weariness comes from work not done.”
Eric Hoffer

+ + +

“Genius is courage in one’s talent.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

+ + +

“The most painful state is remembering the future, particularly one you can never have.”
Soren Kierkegaard

+ + +

Trackback from your site.

Comments (1)

Leave a comment

Quick Links

Bootstrappers Breakfast Link Startup Stages Clients In the News Upcoming Events Office Hours Button Newsletter SignUp