Quotes For Entrepreneurs–July 2012

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

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“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
Soren Kierkegaard

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“He who never hurries is always on time.”
Mikhail Bulgakov

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“Shhh! I’m listening to reason.”
Pee-wee to Francis in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

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“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our questioning.”
Werner Heisenberg

Closing quote for “Q: Is Building The Wrong Product A Waste of Time?

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“Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation”
Alasdair Gray

This closing quote for Independence Day 2012 (and a repeat from March 2009) is engraved on the Canongate wall in the Scottish Parliament. Gray credits his inspiration for the quote (which has appeared in his books in several slightly different forms) to this couplet from Dennis Lee‘s “Civil Elegies”:

And best of all is finding a place to be
in the early days of a better civilization.

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“The ultimate test’s always your own serenity. If you don’t have this when you start and maintain it while you’re working you’re likely to build your personal problems right into the machine itself.”
Robert Pirsig in “Zen and the Art  of Motorcycle Maintenance

Used in “Debugging Your Startup Requires Peace of Mind

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“To understand a new idea break an old habit.”
Jean Toomer

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“One enterprise’s intrapreneur is often another startup’s earlyvangelist.”
Sean Murphy

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“Everybody talks about a new world in the morning.
New world in the morning never comes.”
Roger Whittaker

Added as a closing quote to “Uncle’s Day.” One of my memories of my time with my Uncle John was stopping in a diner on a fishing trip and listening to “New World In the Morning” on the jukebox.

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“Between being able to and actually doing something lies an ocean, and on its bottom rests all too often the wreck of willpower.”
Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach

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“We are a product of our families, schools, and churches. Without the liberty and rule of law that characterize America, entrepreneurship would indeed be impossible. Any successful American who is not a patriot is a rank ingrate.”
Rich Lowry in “Statism vs. The Self-Made Man

Stockpiled here for use in a future 4th of July post. The full article is worth reading as an analysis of “If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

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“I think two of the hardest challenges that a startup faces are hiring the right people and winning the early deals that establish credibility. Both of these problems are ultimately the CEO’s responsibility.”
Moe Arnaiz in “Case Study: eMOBUS Experience with SKMurphy

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“The last thing anyone would be likely to entertain is an unfamiliar thought.”
Francis Bacon

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“Working yourself to death is a highly regarded form of suicide.”
Frans Hiddema

I used this as opening quote for “Working Day and Night.”

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“The right track takes detours.”
Frans Hiddema

I used this as closing quote for “Working Day and Night.”

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“Choose the life that is the most useful and habit will make it the most agreeable.”
Francis Bacon

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“In restless dreams I walked alone,
Narrow streets of cobblestone.”
Simon and Garfunkel, “The Sounds of Silence”

Used as opening quote for “You Tried. It’s OK to Make a Change.” to capture the restless discontent that can proceed double loop learning

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“Surprise is the beginning of wisdom.”
David Gelernter

A pithy quote that encapsulate a rule of thumb for customer development I have explored in several blog posts:

Customer Development Requires a Willingness to be Surprised

And by “surprised” I mean:

  • able to admit that your assumptions are wrong
  • open to new insights from prospects
  • willing to change your plans for your product or your startup
  • willing begin again with a better frame of reference

Customer Interviews: Allow Yourself to be Surprised

You can be surprised in a conversation and improvise additional questions or even your own new answers to unanticipated questions from a prospect. Surprise means you are learning.

Pictures are to Words as Conversations are to Surveys

One conversation is worth between 100 and 10,000 survey responses, provided that you are listening and prepared to be surprised.

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