Business related quotes 1 to 50

  1. ‘When you see your competitor drowning, grab a fire hose and put it in his mouth.’ Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds
  2. ‘I will spend as much money as I need to make sure my little girls go to Chinese schools, because the best skill I can give to two people born in 2003 and 2008 is to know Asia and to speak Mandarin fluently.’ Jim Rogers
  3. ‘If you don’t ask, it will never happen.’ Renee Haugerud, on her mantra for career success
  4. ‘You innovate faster than your fakes. That’s how you play in the technology game.’ Ryan Lee
  5. ‘If you’re put together properly, you have a fiduciary gene like Warren Buffett and me, and if you’ve told people that you can get them extraordinary results, then you really hate the idea of not delivering for them.’ Charlie Munger, on the need to meet others’ expectations
  6. ‘Everybody should do this, be the client, and then work for other people, too, and sell yourself an hour a day.’ Charles Munger
  7. ‘We do not attain the victory of life by selfishness. Victory is for those who give themselves to causes beyond themselves. It is very biblical and very true that everyone who exalts themselves will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted. That is a text for all of us.’ Melinda Gates
  8. ‘A reputation is like fine china, expensive to acquire, and easily broken.’ Peter Kiewit
  9. ‘First, honesty. Second, hard work. Next, if you don’t get the job you want right away, tell them you’ll take anything. If you’re good, they’ll keep you.’ Rose Blumkin, on success
  10. ‘I had a considerable passion to get rich. Not because I wanted Ferraris – I wanted the independence. I desperately wanted it. I thought it was undignified to have to send invoices to other people. I don’t know where I got the notion from, but I had it.’ Charles Munger
  11. ‘How can I find somebody? Out of twenty million people in California, half are women. Of these ten million, only two million are of an appropriate age. From that group, a million and a half would be married, leaving five hundred thousand. Three hundred thousand of them are too dumb, fifty thousand are too smart, and of the remaining hundred fifty thousand, the number I would want to marry would fit on a basketball court. I’ve got to find one of those. And then I’ve got to be on her basketball court.’ Charles Munger
  12. ‘You should never, when facing some unbelievable tragedy, let one tragedy increase into two or three through your failure of will.’ Charlie Munger, on his decision to marry again after his divorce
  13. ‘Remember one thing, Warren (Buffett): Money isn’t making that much difference in how you and I live. We’re both going down to the cafeteria for lunch and working every day and having a good time. So don’t worry too much about money, because it won’t make much difference in how you live.’ Benjamin Graham
  14. ‘I don’t take breaks in my search for value. There is no golf or other hobby to distract me. Seeing value is what I do.’ Michael Burry, on his passion for value investing
  15. ‘You have to understand. I did subprime first. I lived with the worst first. These guys lied to infinity. What I learned from that experience was that Wall Street didn’t give a shit what it sold.’ Steve Eisman
  16. ‘Derivatives are like guns. The problem isn’t the tools. It’s who is using the tools.’ Michael Lewis
  17. ‘In 2008 it was the entire financial system that was at risk. We were still short. But you don’t want the system to crash. It’s sort of like the flood’s about to happen and you’re Noah. You’re on the ark. Yeah, you’re okay. But you are not happy looking out at the flood. That’s not a happy moment for Noah.’ Steve Eisman
  18. ‘I have always believed that a single talented analyst, working very hard, can cover an amazing amount of investment landscape, and this belief remains unchallenged in my mind.’ Michael Burry, who owned Scion Capital from 2000 to 2008. Scion Capital managed a 489 percent return as compared to S&P 500’s 2 percent over this period.
  19. ‘We turned off CNBC. It became very frustrating that they weren’t in touch with reality anymore. If something negative happened, they’d spin it positive. If something positive happened, they’d blow it out of proportions. It alters your mind. You can’t be clouded with shit like that.’ Danny Moses, just before the US subprime crisis.
  20. ‘You know when you’re with someone who is intellectually powerful: You just know it. When you sit down with Richard Posner (the legal scholar), you know it’s Richard Posner. When you sit down with the ratings agencies, you know it’s the ratings agencies.’ Steve Eisman
  21. ‘Senior management’s job is to pay people. If they fuck a hundred guys out a hundred grand each, that’s ten million more for them. They have four categories: happy, satisfied, dissatisfied, disgusted. If they hit happy, they’re screwed up: They never want you happy. On the other hand, they don’t want you so disgusted you quit. The sweet spot is somewhere between dissatisfied and disgusted.’ Greg Lippmann, on being underpaid as a bond trader
  22. ‘Why should you pay twenty million to a 32 year old trader? He uses office space, the IT, the business card with a first class name on it. If I take the business card away from that guy he would probably sell hot dogs.’ Klaus-Peter Muller, Commerzbank chairman
  23. ‘I have never in my life slept so little, because I was so eager to learn. I slept two or three hours a night because I was sitting beside him (a fishing legend)… The reach of the trawler. The most efficient angle of the net. How do you act on the sea. If you have a bad day, what do you do? If you’re not fishing at this depth, what do you do? If it’s not working, do you move in depth or space? In the end it’s just so much feel. In this time I learned infinitely more than I learned in school. Because how do you learn to fish in school?’ Stefan Alfsson, an Icelandic fisherman.
  24. “I read this article saying that setting up a business you essentially have do five years of work in one year, and I think that’s about right.” says Richard Reed, an entrepreneur.
  25. ‘Without clients you will not make money. In fact you will not even exist.’
  26. “It was a very practical thing, because I’ve always felt that business is something that is very real — you learn it on the streets and through practical experience,”
  27. ‘If necessary, I will bring in outsiders, but you will each first get a chance to prove yourself, and I hope you will give me some time to prove myself to you. Everyone starts with a clean slate. Neither your successes nor fauilures in the past count with me.’ Louis Gerstner
  28. ‘It is not helpful to feel sorry for ourselves. I’m sure our employees don’t need any rah-rah speeches. We need leadership and a sense of direction and momentum, not just from me but from all of us. I don’t want to see a lot of prophets of doom around here. I want can-do people looking for short-term victories and long-term excitement.’ Louis Gerstner
  29. ‘One of the first things I learned was that whatever hard or painful things you have to do, do them quickly and make sure everyone knows what you are doing and why…dithering and delay almost always compounds a negative solution. I believe in getting the problem behind me quickly and moving on.’ Louis Gerstner
  30. ‘In comparison, changing the attitude and behavior of hundreds of thousands of people is very, very hard to accomplish. Business schools don’t teach you how to do it. You can’t lead the revolution from the splendid isolation of corporate HQ. You can’t simply give a couple of speeches or write a new credo for the company and declare that the new culture has taken hold. You can’t mandate it, can’t engineer it.’ Louis Gerstner
  31. ‘There are no IFs in my vernacular. We are going to do it. We’re going to do it together. This is going to be a group of change agents – people who are imbued with the feeling of empowerment and opportunity, for ourselves and all our colleagues. Those of you who are uncomfortable with it, you should think about doing something else. Those of you who are excited about it, I welcome you to the team, because I sure can’t do it alone.’ Louis Gerstner
  32. ‘I decided, like many of you, that this was the best company in the world at which to spend my career. IBM is a fascinating, important, frustrating, exhausting and fulfilling experience – and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.’ Louis Gerstner, ex-CEO of IBM
  33. ‘Stick to your knitting; dance with the partner who brought you. History shows that great and successful companies go through constant and sometimes difficult self-renewal of the base business. They don’t jump into new pools where they have no sense of the depth or temperature of the water.’ Louis Gerstner
  34. ‘A hallmark of true expertise and insight is making a complex subject understandable. A hallmark of mediocrity and bad strategy is unnecessary complexity – a flurry of fluff masking an absence of substance.’ Richard Rumelt
  35. ‘Bad strategy is long on goals and short on policy or action. It assumes that goals are all you need. It puts forward strategic objectives that are incoherent and, sometimes, totally impracticable. It uses high-sounding words and phrases to hide these failings.’ Richard Rumelt
  36. ‘Never try to start a company with something you don’t like, because it will never go anywhere. Only do something that you truly enjoy.’ Timothy Mitchell
  37. ‘I have seen thousands of ideas die on the vine, because the individuals that have them never get over that fear of failing.’ Timothy Mitchell
  38. ‘Never put yourself in a position where you’re risking your family and risking putting food on the table. I’ve seen a number of people go there and lose it all. Family and everything.’ Timothy Mitchell
  39. ‘Every business I’ve founded, I thought would be successful within three years. Absolutely none of them were successful within three years. It’s always taken twice as long, three times as long, as I imagined it would.’ Jon Myers
  40. ‘What really makes successful entrepreneurs is not the nature of their idea, or the university they went to, but their actual character – their willingness to adapt their idea and take advantage of possibilities they had not first imagined. This is precisely the trait – fluidity of mind – that Graham had identified in himself and in other inventors. The other essential character trait was supreme tenacity.’ Robert Greene
  41. ‘If Roman Abramovich helped me out in training we would be bottom of the league and if I had to work in his world of big business, we would be bankrupt!’ Jose Mourinho (on his relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich)
  42. ‘We need to find stuff that we can take into the meeting with the client, so we can say, look, this is what we found, can you explain that? How do we justify our fee if we dig up absolutely nothing? At the other end of the spectrum there is the opposite dynamic. The more we find, the more extra work we need to do. That pushes up our cost to the client, or eats into our revenues. You could argue that on an individual basis accountants are incentivised not to find something.’ Joris Luyendijk, an external auditor in the UK. Hard truths
  43. ‘The people who invented the 21st century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve (Jobs), because they saw differently. The hierachical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage the different thinking. The 60s produced an anarchic mindset that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.’ Bono, from the band U2
  44. “There is something indefinable in an entrepreneur, and I saw that in Steve (Jobs). He was interested not just in engineering, but also the business aspects. I taught him that if you act like you can do something, then it will work. I told him, ‘Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are.’” Nolan Bushnell
  45. “Another key aspect of Steve Job’s worldview was his binary way of categorizing things. People were either ‘enlightened’ or ‘an asshole’. Their work was either ‘the best’ or ‘totally shitty’.” Walter Isaacson
  46. ‘Well, Steve (Jobs), I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.’ Bill Gates (on how Apple used Xerox’s Graphical User Inferface and introduced it in their Macintosh)
  47. ‘You have to stick within what I call your circle of competence (those matters which you understand well and intuitively). You have to know what you understand and what you don’t understand. It’s not terribly important how big the circle is. But it is terribly important that you know where the perimeter is.’ Charlie Munger
  48. ‘There’s nothing more effective in selling anything than getting the customer to believe, really believe, that you like him and care about him.’ Joe Girard (one of the most successful car salesman in the world)
  49. ‘Do you know any private bankers, insurance agents or financial AUDITORS who do their job out of passion or who believe in a higher mission? I don’t. Financial incentives and performance bonuses work well in industries with generally uninspiring jobs – industries where employees aren’t proud of the products or the companies and do the work simply because they get a pay cheque.’ Rolf Dobelli (The Art of Thinking Clearly)
  50. ‘There is an information asymmetry – the person you are looking for does exist but you don’t know where to find them. On the other hand, because you are aiming for such an ideal partner, the person who does have the qualities you are looking for might not love you back in reality.’ Gong Haiyan, founder of China’s most popular dating website

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