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Thoughts on Innovation

We can’t solve problems using the same thinking that we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist: Developed the Theory of Relativity
The power of compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.
Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist: Developed the Theory of Relativity
If I’m the smartest guy in the room, I’m in the wrong room.
Alexander Crowell
Managing Director, PureTerra Ventures
I never read. I just look at pictures.
Andy Warhol
American Artist, Director and Producer
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke
Science Fiction Writer
When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
Arthur C. Clarke
Science Fiction Writer
Nothing is easy. If you want to do nothing, that’s easy.
Author Unknown
At the opening of the Hoover Dam, a beaver told a rabbit: ‘Well, I didn’t build it. But it’s based on my idea.
Author Unknown
Mediocre people are always at their best.
Author Unknown
Terrible is the temptation to do good!
Bertolt Brecht
German Theatre Practitioner, Playwright and Poet
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
Bill Gates
American Businessman, Microsoft Founder
They say the secret of success is being at the right place at the right time, but since you never know when the right time is going to be, I figure the trick is to find the right place and just hang around.
Bill Watterson
American Cartoonist
It’s not a good strategy until it costs you something to pursue.
Bob Goldstein
CEO of Sonen Capital
I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented.
Buckminster Fuller
American Architect, Systems Theorist, Author, Designer, Investor and Futurist
Success is easy if you think of it like rust: It’s inevitable if you keep at it.
Charles Shaw (Two Buck Chuck)
American Vintner
You have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue you, for the law is too slow. I will ruin you.
Cornelius Vanderbilt
American Business Magnate and Philanthropist
Make no little plans.
Daniel H. Burnham
American Architect and Urban Designer
Humility is the most underrated aspect of being an entrepreneur. Once your head gets too big, you’re cooked.
Danny Meyer
New York City Restaurateur and CEO
Good enough never is.
Debbi Fields
Founder of Mrs. Fields Bakeries
An entrepreneur is someone who shoots an arrow and then runs to move the target, so the arrow hits it.
Dick Rennick
CEO of American Leak Detection
Innovation is seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi
Discoverer of Vitamin C
Much good work is lost for the lack of a little more.
Edward H. Harriman
American Businessman
The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
Edward John Phelps, Esq.
Founder of American Bar Association
You can’t really run the company by pissing off the scientists who do the work.
Erwin Kelen
Veteran Minneapolis Investor
In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Terry Pratchett
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill
English Statesman
History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.
Winston Churchill
English Statesman
I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.
Woodrow Wilson
28th U.S. President
One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.
Walter Bagehot
British Journalist, Businessman and Essayist
It’s hard to teach a young dog old tricks.
Warren Buffet
American Investor
There is nothing like writing to force you to think and get your thoughts straight.
Warren Buffet
American Investor
It’s not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.
Warren Buffett
American Investor
You’ll see it when you believe it.
Wayne Dyer
American Philosopher, Author and Motivational Speaker
Even if you are on the right track, the train will run you over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers
American Actor
Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston Churchill
English Statesman
Strategy – is figuring out what is the most important thing for your company and deciding to focus on it and say no to everything else.
Anonymous Venture Capital Investor
If the shoe fits, you probably didn’t buy it online.
Bill Maher
American Comedian, Political Commentator and Television Host
There’s only one boss: the customer. He can fire everybody from the chairman on down simply by spending his money elsewhere.
Sam Walton
Retailer/Founder of Walmart
Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves it’s amazing what they can accomplish.
Sam Walton
Retailer/Founder of Walmart
If you don’t listen to your customers, someone else will.
Sam Walton
Retailer/Founder of Walmart
Customers don’t want 1/4 drills, they want 1/4 holes.
Ted Levitt
Professor, Harvard Business School
Be ready to revise any system, scrap any method, and abandon any theory, if the success of the job requires it.
Henry Ford
Business Magnate, Founder of Ford Motor Company
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance – or a stranger.
Franklin P. Jones
American Humorist
To do a common thing, uncommonly well, brings success.
Henry John Heinz
Vegetable Processor (1876)
Choice is the enemy of decision.
Guy Kawasaki
Author, “The Art of the Start”
Always make new mistakes.
Esther Dyson
American Journalist, Author, Investor, Commentator and Philanthropist
As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.
Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist: Developed the Theory of Relativity
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist: Developed the Theory of Relativity
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke
Science Fiction Writer
More startups die of indigestion than starvation.
Bill Garley
Venture Capitalist: Benchmark
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!
Dwight D. Eisenhower
American Army General, Statesman and 34th U.S. President
I don’t want the revenue; I just want the profit.
Erwin Kelen
Veteran Minneapolis Investor
If you have no idea how something is supposed to be done, I guarantee you’ll be disruptive. Let what you don’t know become your greatest asset.
Sara Blakely
Founder of Spanx
One can learn to cook, but a restaurateur is born.
The New Larousse Gastronomique
The greatest discoveries in nanotech have been 20 years away for 20 years.
Theodore Waitt
Co-Founder, Gateway, Inc.
Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!
William Safire
Author, Columnist, Lexicographer, Journalist and Political Speechwriter
Entrepreneurship exists in the tiny space between madness and genius; and, its journey requires a few cross border violations across both madness and genius to get to the final destination.
The Herd Instinct
The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Author, Philanthropist and Public Speaker
I’m sure that you’re trying to challenge yourself to invent something new. That’s impossible.
Virgil Abloh
American Fashion Designer
A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.
Vinod Khosla
Venture Capital Investor
On ne règne sur les âmes que par le calme. (One leads by calm.)
Winston Churchill
English Statesman
There is nothing so depressing as boundless optimism.
The Wizard of Oz
Wicked Witch of the West
In economics, things take longer to happen than you think they will, and then happen faster than you thought they could.
Rüdiger Dornbusch
German Economist
You can’t innovate once.
Tracey Riese
Early Stage Investor
Prediction is difficult, especially about the future.
Yogi Berra
Professional Baseball Player
It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
Yogi Berra
Professional Baseball Player