Quotes for Entrepreneurs–April 2011

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

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“No, improvising is wonderful. But, the thing is that you cannot improvise unless you know exactly what you’re doing.”
Christopher Walken

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“What sets small businesses apart from large companies is their ability to make personal connections with customers.”
Ben Nesvig in “Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

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“I never trust anyone who’s more excited about success than about doing the thing they want to be successful at.”
Randall Munroe  “Time Management” (h/t Adam Bard)

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“Remember, when it comes to commercial TV, the program is not the product.
YOU are the product, and the advertiser is the customer.”
— Mark W. Schumann [at least 2003 if not earlier]

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“If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”
Andrew Lewis commenting on “User Driven Discontent” August 26, 2010

Update Wed-Mar-21: Kevin Marks traces the insight further back in “When You’re the Merchandise, Not the Customer” he cites several sources ending with:

The earliest, most thorough exegesis of this idea I have found is Claire Wolfe’s 1999 article Little brother is watching you The Menace of Corporate America which opens with:

Perhaps because you’re not the customer any more. You’re simply a “resource” to be managed for profit. The customer is someone else now — and usually someone without your best interests at heart.

And has a continuing refrain of “Who is the Customer? Not you”, ending with

Who is the customer? Not you, whose life is reduced to someone else’s salable, searchable, investigatable data. The customer is everyone who wishes to own a piece of your life.

Update Mon-Jul-17 Quote Investigator traces this back much further.

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“I quote others only the better to express myself.”
Michel de Montaigne

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“In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Prudence

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“The time to be most careful is when you have a hand full of trumps. ”
Josh Billings

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“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.”
Jeff Hammerbacher in “This Tech Bubble Is Different

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“The impossible is often the untried.”
Jim Goodwin

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“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”
Eugene Ionesco

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“As a rule, I always look for what others ignore.”
Marshall McLuhan

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“I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it.”
Will Rogers

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“Most people like hard work. Particularly when they are paying for it.”
Franklin P. Jones

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“The promise that you can get paid really well to do precisely what your boss instructs you to do is now a dream, no longer a reality.”
Seth Godin in “The Realization is Now

More context (bolding added):

What’s actually happening is this: we’re realizing that the industrial revolution is fading. The 80 year long run that brought ever-increasing productivity (and along with it, well-paying jobs for an ever-expanding middle class) is ending.

The promise that you can get paid really well to do precisely what your boss instructs you to do is now a dream, no longer a reality.

It takes a long time for a generation to come around to significant revolutionary change. The newspaper business, the steel business, law firms, the car business, the record business, even computers… one by one, our industries are being turned upside down, and so quickly that it requires us to change faster than we’d like.

It’s unpleasant, it’s not fair, but it’s all we’ve got. The sooner we realize that the world has changed, the sooner we can accept it and make something of what we’ve got.

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Myth #1: Product market fit is always a discrete, big bang event.
Myth #2: It’s patently obvious when you have product market fit.
Myth #3: Once you achieve product market fit, you can’t lose it.
Myth #4: Once you have product-market fit, you don’t have to sweat the competition.

Ben Horowitz in “The Revenge of the Fat Guy

He elaborates in the same blog post:

Product market fit isn’t a one-time, discrete point in time that announces itself with trumpet fanfares. Competitors arrive, markets segment and evolve, and stuff happens—all of which often make it hard to know you’re headed in the right direction before jamming down on the accelerator.

I originally quoted this in a postscript to “Product Market Fit is a Fraction Not a Bit” suggested by Patrick Vlaskovits.

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