Quotes for Entrepreneurs – April 2009

It’s been a year since I started using Twitter to post quotes for entrepreneurs. I realize now that using Twitter, while encouraging me to collect more new quotes, forces me to focus on ones that will fit into a 140 character limit. I am thinking of re-titling this “Pithy Quotes For Entrepreneurs” where pithy means both “precisely meaningful; forceful and brief” and “short enough for Twitter.”

When Shakespeare penned “brevity is the soul of wit” he didn’t know the half of it.

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Quotes for Entrepreneurs Collected in April 2009

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“There’s no harm in having a hobby, just don’t let it get too expensive.”
Sean Murphy

If you don’t have a “stopping rule” or know when you need to switch to a new business model or new market or new product then you have a hobby.

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“Being direct and honest is a scalable communications strategy.”
Seth Godin from “Sugar Coated Corporate Speak

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“Future of link shorteners: economics & entropy dictate that most of these domains will fall into spammer hands eventually.”
Andrew Grumet

Quoted in “Joshua Schachter: URL Shorteners Considered Harmful” which referenced and elaborated on Joshua Schachter’s “On URL Shorteners.” This quote was in the comments. The most useful counter-argument I’ve seen is to locally host your own shortener or run your own shortener for a set of your sites.

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“Customers don’t ask for your transcript: no grades for resiliency, curiosity, agility, resourcefulness, pattern recognition, and tenacity.”
Steve Blank

More context:

“These guys [Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison] realized that customers don’t ask for your transcript. There’s a big difference between being an employee at a great technology company and having the guts to start one. You don’t get grades for having resiliency, curiosity, agility, resourcefulness, pattern recognition and tenacity.”

This is in response to Google’s hiring policy of asking everyone for a transcript and only hiring A students, even those folks who have been out of college 20-30 years and may have a richer set of accomplishments than their transcripts might indicate. I have seen too many times the adage “The A students work for the entrepreneurial B students”  come true to place a lot of faith in grades for someone who has been out of college more than 5 years being a good predictor of on the job performance.

I blogged about this policy two years ago in “One Google Hiring Policy Startups Should Avoid.”

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“Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.”
Mignon McLaughlin

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“One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up to get it.”
Sidney Howard

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“You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

This is a key concept in competing against either the status quo or existing products. Ultimately you have to obsolete them if you want to win.

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“I’m old-fashioned: I hold doors for ladies, take off my hat indoors, and define customer as ‘someone who pays you money.'”
Patrick McKenzie

Full quote:

“I’m terminally old-fashioned in a lot of ways. I hold open doors for ladies, take off my hat before entering buildings, and define customer as “someone who pays money for a good or service”.

Update June 7: I liked this so much I used it as a conclusion to “Andrew Chen: Most Web 2.0 Media Startups Have a B2B Enterprise Model.”

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“Startup dollhouse fallacy: startups are just shrunken-down big companies. ”
Eric Ries

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From the movie “The Devil’s Advocate

Milton: You have the talent. I knew that before you got here. It’s the other thing I wonder about.
Kevin: What thing is that?
Milton: Pressure. Changes everything. Some people, you squeeze them, they focus. Some people fold. Can you summon your talent at will? Can you deliver on deadline? Can you sleep at night?

Which came out on twitter as “Pressure…Can you summon your talent at will? Can you deliver on a deadline? Can you sleep at night?” Satan in “The Devil’s Advocate”

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“Genius is childhood recalled at will.” Charles Baudelaire

comment by Gordon Luster “I really like this guy’s taste in quotations. Check’em out.”

1 thought on “Quotes for Entrepreneurs – April 2009”

  1. Pingback: SKMurphy » Quotes for Entrepreneurs - June 2009

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