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Posts Tagged ‘quotes

Signs of the times

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With the real employment rate at about 17% (higher or lower depending on where you live) some people have found innovative ways to get some additional income.  As they say, when times get tough the tough get going.

I am not sure where these folks fit in.  But, no sense in not just “asking” for money in the “kindness of strangers” sort of way.  Perhaps these folks feel that the entertainment value alone of their signs will get them a monetary contribution.

Let’s see how good these folks are at marketing their cause and persuading you to open your wallet –

Here is a guy who gets right to the point.  Lets call this the Anna Nicole Smith approach

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see what Bill looks like. But, with the beard, looks like a catch.

Here is another approach that would appeal to the family man.

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April 12, 2011 at 5:28 am

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Quotable: Robert Moog on Ideas

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I can feel what’s going on inside a piece of electronic equipment.  I have this sense that I know, and to some extent, have control over what is going on inside the transistors and inside the resistors.  When I am thinking about how to solve a particular problem I can think about it for days and weeks and nothing will happen.  And, some day,  when I am cutting the grass, or having a hamburger, or I wake up in the middle of the night, the idea will be there.  I think it would be egotistical of me to say, “I thought of it”.  What happened, is I opened my mind up and the idea came through and into my head.  These ideas, I don’t have to dig up anything.  Sometime I don’t even have to be thinking of them  – and there they are.  It’s something between discovering and witnessing.

Robert Moog (Moog Foundation, Watch a Minimoog demo – It’s all Analog, kids)
Inventory/Creator of the Moog Synthesiser

Written by frrl

October 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm

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Quotable: On the interchangeability of Leaders and Followers

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“There goes the mob, and I must follow them,  for I am their leader”Comte de Mirabeau

What might emerge from the riots in France and the UK over the economic crisis?   (read about it)

Some observations from  Joseph S. Nye, Jr. (Harvard Kennedy School of Government)

In times of social crisis, such as war or economic depression, temporarily overwhelmed followers may hand over power to leaders that they later find difficult to retrieve.  Hitler came to power by elections in Germany in 1933, and then used coercion to consolidate his power.  But he also used the soft power of attraction, constructing narratives that turned Jews into scapegoats, glorified the past, and promised a thousand-year Reich as a vision of the future.  Followers also helped to create Hitler.  As Albert Speer put it, “Of course Goebbels and Hitler know how to penetrate through to the instincts of their audience; but in a deeper sense they derived their whole existence from the audience.  Certainly the masses roared to the beat set by Hitler and Goebbels’ baton; yet they were not the true conductors.  The mob determined the theme.”

One can think of Hitler’s followers in terms of concentric circles, with true believers like Goebbels, Goering, and Speer as an inner core; they are followed by a next circle of “good soldiers” like the Hamburg Reserve Police Battalion 101, who willingly executed Jews and Poles out of “crushing conformity;” an outer circle of complicit bystanders who knowingly acquiesced; and a further circle of passive bystanders who made no effort to know what was behind the myths and propaganda. Beyond them were those who refused to follow and resisted, many of whom were destroyed or coerced into silence.

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October 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

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Quotable: On Profit & Pleasing Customers

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Profit is vital to human well-being. Profit is the payment to entrepreneurs just as wages are payments to labor, interest to capital and rent to land.  In order to earn profits in free markets, entrepreneurs must identify and satisfy human wants and do so in a way that economizes on society’s scarce resources.

Here’s a little test. Which entities produce greater customer satisfaction: for-profit enterprises such as supermarkets, computer makers and clothing stores, or nonprofit entities such as public schools, post offices and motor vehicle departments?  I’m guessing you’ll answer the former. Their survival depends on pleasing customers. Nonprofits, such as public schools, post offices and motor vehicle departments, survival depends mostly on pleasing politicians.

When a firm fails to please its customers and thereby fails to earn a profit, it goes bankrupt, making those resources available to another who might do better.  That’s unless government steps in to bail it out.  Bailouts permit a business to continue doing a poor job of pleasing customers and husbanding resources.  Government-owned nonprofit entities are immune to the ruthless market discipline of being forced to please customers.  The same can be said of businesses that receive government handouts.

It’s this ruthlessness of market discipline that forces firms to please customers, economize on resources and thereby earn profits or go out of business and goes a long way toward explaining hostility toward free market capitalism

Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University

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October 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm

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Quotable: On Politics

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Some people think that politics is a dirty word, but not me. Politics is simply the art of making decisions in groups. It comes from the Greek word polis, meaning city. Any group working together—whether it has ten people or ten thousand—needs some mechanism to keep everyone aligned: that’s politics. The question is: Is it good politics or is it bad politics? Bad politics is when people put their own self-interest ahead of the group’s goals. To me, this is closely related to hypocrisy. You argue one thing (this is best for the company), but you believe something different (this is best for me). — Dave Hitz, Cofounder & Executive VP of NetApp

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September 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm

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The Wayward Steer

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At Deep Springs, the ranch manager told great stories. He described how they used to drive cattle a thousand miles from Texas to the stockyards in Chicago. In the herd, one steer would take the lead and the others would follow. This alpha steer became recognizable to the cowboys and was a great help if he kept his bearings.  But sometimes this leader had a tendency to veer off to the side, taking the herd with him. Getting the herd back on track was hard work for the cowboys, so if the lead steer swerved too often, there was no choice but to shoot him in the head. Keeping him wasn’t worth the trouble. So many ranching lessons apply in business.  — Dave Hitz co-founder of NetApp

This story was told by Hitz when he and a few others met with the NetApp board of directors after raising $1.5 million dollars from 24 angel investors in chunks of $50K and $100K followed by a Venture Capital seed round of $5 Million.  The CEO was great at fundraising but not a good manager. Given that the initial fundraising rounds were over, and the CEO’s management capability was in question, Hitz worked to oust him.

Two rules for CEO’s of startups

  1. Never keep more in your office than you can fit in a gym bag.
  2. Always keep a gym bag in your office.

After the meeting, the CEO was out.  Replaced with a CEO that could take NetApp beyond preliminary fundraising to product development and marketing.

See the initial NetApp Business Plan Overview from 1992 and “lessons learned” –
https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/netappbizplan1992.pdf

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September 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm

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Obstacles and Opportunity

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Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. — Niccolo Machiavelli

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July 4, 2010 at 5:05 am

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