Time for my monthly round up of quotes for entrepreneurs (hyperlinked
I welcome any suggestions for quotes you find insightful or inspiring./SeanM
"Functionality is not the same as usefulness."
Hayes mentioned this in "Conventional IT Wisdom" at
I blogged about it in "A Good Idea is No Match for a Bad Habit" in 2007
"The revolution will not be televised--but it may be bootstrapped."
Wensing closed with this in "What They Can't Tell You: Starting Up
Outside a Hub" at
More context, concluding paragraphs of post:
As a founder born and raised in South Florida that's had some
measure of success (insofar as survival is a major component), this
is my plan. To tell people of the dangers in no uncertain terms,
to take a chainsaw to their ideas, and to inspire them to find ways
to collect money from customers first, so they can collect it from
opportunistic investors second, and on their terms. I won't claim
to be the first--there are bright and eager minds sprouting up left
and right, and many more to be discovered. But I will refuse to
settle for spin.
The revolution will not be televised--but it may be bootstrapped."
"Visual thinking is a mandatory literacy for innovation leaders of
Lisa Solomon (@lisakaysolomon) in
Solomon suggested this in "The Visual Thinking Revolution is Here"
"Searching for work is unpaid work." Ville Hytonen
"Success is largely about keeping your promises.
Seth Godin in Successful?
Godin blogged about this in 2006 at
"Brevity is power." Josh Billings
"A codified, repeatable, reusable practice contradicts the nature
of innovation, which requires difficult, uncomfortable work to
challenge the status quo of an industry or, at the very least, an
Helen Walters in
Walters wrote this in a Fast Company article "Can Innovation Really Be
Reduced to a Process?" at
I came across an excerpt in a great post by Chris Coldeweys "Why Innovation
"The business model canvas applications may be as much of a
Procrustean bed for early stage startups as the 13 slide VC pitch
deck." Sean Murphy
From an blog post I am still working on.
"When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when
information grows unprofitable, sleep."
Ursula K. Le Guin in "The Left Hand of Darkness"
h/t Esther Derby (@estherderby)
"Talent acquisitions erode potential customers confidence,
poisoning the well for future bootstrapped startups."
I used this as the opening quote for "Honor Customer Commitments to
Avoid Poisoning the Well" at
"The true value of business software is not just in what it can do,
but also in how quickly and easily it can be changed."
Ed Weissman (@edw529)
"You aspire to great things?
Begin with little ones."
I used this as a closing quote for "Small Wins Enable Larger Wins" at
"The name sprint may actually be harmful to software development,
because the whole business is more like a marathon."
Michal Paluchowski ? (@mpaluchowski)
"People know what they want because they know what other people want."
"Sometimes you need to be on the dance floor dancing. Sometimes
you need to be up in the balcony watching the dance."
I quoted this in 2007 in "Planning in a Bootstrapped Startup" at
which also includes this observation on the value of planning
"Adapting von Moltke�s observation that �No battle plan ever
survives contact with the enemy� for a startup you might say that
no startup�s product or operating plan survives contact with the
market, either in the form of customers or competition. But prior
preparation enables quick response and will likely allow you to
avoid unnecessary expense and some mistakes. His suggestion for a
journal format is also a good one, and one of the reasons why we
believe that a wiki page makes a nice medium for your operating
"We assume that because we have the label we have the knowledge
"Make your next move from where you actually are."
"Some must live with the consequences of what they didn't dare do."
"My two favorite institutions universities and startups have
something in common, they both eschew management, to their
Bob Metcalfe (@BobMetcalfe)
Bob Metcalfe invented Ethernet and has gone on to become a venture
capitalist and professor of entrepreneurship. His observations stems
from his association with both startups and universities. Both focus
on fostering learning, and management would seem to be essential to
the efficient allocation of resources. I think there is a fear that
management is too associated with what are referred to as delivery
skills in The Innovators DNA and that these come at the expense of
discovery skills and creative thinking. I think this is a false
"The aggregation of individual data does not a commons make."
Madrigal wrote this as a subtle and thought provoking conclusion to "Paul
Graham, The Commons, and How Google Stopped Being Google" at
It would seem to be at odds with a lot of Big Data evangelism but I think
"Aim to encounter unknown difficulties that you may gain unexpected
results." Jean Toomer
"A horseless carriage was a common idea ever since the steam engine
was invented" Henry Ford in My Life and Work
Full paragraph for more context, for me this makes it seem very unlikely
that he ever said the if I had asked my customers what they wanted they
would have said faster horses.
"Even before that time I had the idea of making some kind of a
light steam car that would take the place of horses more
especially, however, as a tractor to attend to the excessively
hard labour of ploughing. It occurred to me, as I remember
somewhat vaguely, that precisely the same idea might be applied to
a carriage or a wagon on the road. A horseless carriage was a
common idea. People had been talking about carriages without
horses for many years back in fact, ever since the steam engine was
invented but the idea of the carriage at first did not seem so
practical to me as the idea of an engine to do the harder farm
work, and of all the work on the farm ploughing was the
hardest. Our roads were poor and we had not the habit of getting
around. One of the most remarkable features of the automobile on
the farm is the way that it has broadened the farmers life. We
simply took for granted that unless the errand were urgent we
would not go to town, and I think we rarely made more than a trip
a week. In bad weather we did not go even that often."
For some related thoughts on faster horses See "Interview Prospects to Find
Unmet Needs, Persistent Problems, and Goals at Risk"
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