Quotes for Entrepreneurs – August 2008

Continuing my twitter experiment from April, May, June, and July I have continued to select a quote every couple of days that I believe is applicable to the challenges of entrepreneurship. I collect these quotes for entrepreneurs into a blog post at the end of the month. Enter your E-mail if you would like Feedburner to deliver new blog posts to your inbox.

Here are my choices for August:

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“Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.”
Joaquin Setanti

A lot of VC advice pre-investment falls into this category. Like the primitive tribe that didn’t have a word for “no” VC’s rely on “why don’t you try this shiny new business area instead of your current plan.” Potential partners and prospects can also ask you to make additional investments in a potential relationship without putting any of their own intellectual, social or financial capital at risk. At a minimum you should get agreement on an “acceptance test” in advance that allows you to determine what result will impel them to go forward.  It can appear more encouraging when you hear “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” since it allows you to live in hope–for a while–but tends to encourage inaction as founders savor the illusion of traction.

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“There is in the worst of fortune the best of chances for a happy change.”

Cultivating calmness in a crisis enables an entrepreneur to see opportunities inherent in the “creative destruction” of capitalism.

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“We notice the ripple and take the lake for granted”
John Seely Brown & Paul Duguid in “The Social Life of Information

This reminded me of

“We don’t know who discovered water, but we know it wasn’t the fish.”
Marshall Mcluhan

One challenge for entrepreneurs seeking a disruptive business model is to invert their focus from trends to constants. It’s easy to focus on what’s new, it’s hard to see how something permanent might be catalyzed or transformed.

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“My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.”
Miles Davis

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“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

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“To be able to look back upon one’s past life with satisfaction is to live twice.”

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