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Quotes For Entrepreneurs-March 2012

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  • Sean Murphy
    Time for my monthly round up of quotes for entrepreneurs (hyperlinked version at http://www.skmurphy.com/blog/2012/03/31/quotes-for-entrepreneurs-march-2012/ I
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2012
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      Time for my monthly round up of quotes for entrepreneurs (hyperlinked
      version at

      I welcome any suggestions for quotes you find insightful or inspiring./SeanM

      "Functionality is not the same as usefulness."
      Frank Hayes

      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."
      Matt Wensing(@mattwensing)

      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
      the future."
      Lisa Solomon (@lisakaysolomon) in

      Solomon suggested this in "The Visual Thinking Revolution is Here"
      at http://blog.duarte.com/2012/02/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
      Resists Codification"

      "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."
      Erik Dungan

      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."
      St. Augustine

      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."
      Theodor Adorno

      "Sometimes you need to be on the dance floor dancing. Sometimes
      you need to be up in the balcony watching the dance."
      Will Kamishlian

      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
      Jean Toomer

      "Make your next move from where you actually are."
      Frank Kuppner

      "Some must live with the consequences of what they didn't dare do."
      Wieslaw Brudzinski

      "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."
      Alexis Madrigal

      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
      is right.

      "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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