Archive for December 31, 2012

Quotes For Entrepreneurs–December 2012

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

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“The hero is known for achievements, the celebrity for  well-knownness. The hero reveals the possibilities of human nature. The celebrity reveals the possibilities of the press and the media. Celebrities are people who make news, but heroes are people who make history. Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities.”
Daniel Boorstin in “Who Are Our Heroes?

I later used this in “Memorial Day 2014

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“Embrace exploration, discovery, and the hunt for something great”
Stacey Gutman

I heard her say this at the “Lean in the Enterprise” workshop at the Lean Startup Conference 2012.

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“We live in a moment of history
where change is so speeded up
that we begin to see the present
only when it is disappearing.”
R. D. Laing

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“Vocation is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
Frederick Buechner

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“Live deep instead of fast.”
Henry Seidel Canby

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“Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving, but does not make any progress.”
Alfred A. Montapert

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“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
Henry David Thoreau

h/t Jim Flowers @startwithmoxie

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“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’
Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.”
Charles M. Schulz

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“Presidential ambition is a disease that can only be cured by embalming fluid.”
Estes Kefauver

I think this is also true of entrepreneurship, it may subside for a year or two but flare up again without warning.

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“Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.”
Alfred A. Montapert

We were not aware of this quote when we promised that you could “join other entrepreneurs who eat problems for breakfast”® at a Bootstrappers Breakfast® but clearly we agree that this great advice for entrepreneurs.

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“There is a trap that some entrepreneurs fall into: they look at prospects they are interviewing as a consumable–somewhat akin to the way a scientist might budget for lab rats–instead of potential customers who will require several conversations of escalating mutual disclosure to establish a business relationship with.”
Sean Murphy in “A Conversation With An Bootstrapping EdTech Startup on Customer Interviews

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“Having worked on ad-supported online businesses on and off since 1996, I think 90% of the people who talk about their startups as ad-supported are just fooling themselves. This turns up a lot at the Lean Startup Machine events. Many people avoid thinking about business models, and one way to do that is to say, “We’ll run ads!” And then they go back to dreaming about the product.”
William Pietri (@WilliamPietri) on a recent thread on the Lean Startup Circle

Used as opening quote for “Five Tests For Your We’ll Run Ads Business Model

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“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”
Charles Dickens in “A Christmas Carol

Christmas Day 2012 entry

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“It is called a Customer Interview, not a Solution Monologue.”
David J Bland @davidjbland

Too true! Also avoid the Feature Travelog & Prospect Interrogation. Discovery Conversation may be better metaphor, one I have added to my Tips for B2B Customer Interviews

It’s should really be a dialog not an interview. If you are not asking questions it can become a feature travelog (it doesn’t count if you end a five minute explanation of your view of their problem or your view of the benefits of your solution with “What do you think?”) and if you are not hearing questions then it can become an interrogation.
Why: If you are not hearing any questions from the prospect then they have little or no interest in working with you.

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“The calm before the storm is always riddled with assumptions.”
Asif Khan Mandozai @asifmandozai

I like this, it reminds me of Gerald Weinberg’s “What looks like a crisis is only the end of an illusion.”

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“Above all, innovation is not invention. It is a term of economics rather than of technology.”
Peter Drucker

h/t The Lean Library @theleanlibrary

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“Invention is concerned with things and ideas, innovation is all about people and relationships.”
Sean Murphy

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“There are some people I’d like to follow, but don’t. I’m interested in what they think but don’t give a shit where they are every 5 minutes. ”
Ed Weissman @edw519

I need to find some better tools to separate the wheat from the chaff in twitter and other feeds.

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“If I had more skill in what I’m attempting, I wouldn’t need so much courage.”
Ashleigh Brilliant

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“There’s no secret to success. Did you ever know a successful man who didn’t tell you all about it?”
Kin Hubbard

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“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”
John E. Southard

Added as a closing quote to “Thanksgiving 2012

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“The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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“The maintainability you’re looking for in a startup is your relationship with the customer.”
Daniel B. Markham (HN: DanielBMarkham )

From his full answer to “Should you TDD an MVP?” (emphasis in original):

The question here is really “what’s the test?” You have to realize the MVP is the test.

For a startup, customers are how you pass the test. Anything else is a red light. So in the most important way possible, as long as you have no customers, you have a test which is failing.

This is important because the maintainability you’re looking for in a startup is your relationship with the customer. Manage that and the rest takes care of itself. If you are already in a business, yes, “maintainability” means writing code that will last. But if you’ve just got an idea or a dream, you’ve got nothing worth maintaining. Nor will you ever.

Put differently, your technical debt can never exceed the economic value of your code, which in a startup is extremely likely to be zero. (Different scenario entirely for project-based work for ongoing businesses, which is why TDD makes so much sense in that scenario).

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