Saturday, August 24, 2013

Used Quotes Through 8/24/2013

You may have noticed that there is (almost) always a quote at the bottom of our blog posts. Some of you have commented on this. We thought it would be a good idea to compile them all so you don't have to go back through two years of build season posts to read them all. Here are all the quotes up till today, though we might have missed a few.


“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” - Steve Jobs 1998

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” - Leonardo da Vinci

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." - Einstein

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.” - John Gall

“Aren’t you oversimplifying this?
Yes. That’s the whole point.” - Steve Krug

“Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing... layout, processes, and procedures.”  - Tom Peters

"Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things."  - Sir Isaac Newton

I have learned an important principle: simple things work, often to our dumbfounded surprise, for we tend to distrust the simple and strive for the complex.
—Richard Cracroft, “Our Trek Through the Wilderness”

“Believe it or not, it is not only possible to accomplish more by doing less, it is mandatory. Enter the world of elimination.” - Timothy Ferriss


"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer." - Randy Pausch

"Success comes through rapidly fixing our mistakes rather than getting things right the first time." - Tim Harford, author of Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

“It’s important that nobody gets mad at you for screwing up. We know screwups are an essential part of making something good. That’s why our goal is to screw up as fast as possible.” - Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3

“Winners lose much more often than losers. So if you keep losing but you’re still trying, keep it up! You’re right on track.” - Matthew Keith Groves

“You can learn more from failure than success. In failure you’re forced to find out what part did not work. But in success you can believe everything you did was great, when in fact some parts may not have worked at all. Failure forces you to face reality.” - Fred Brooks,

“Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment” - Fred Brooks

“Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.” - Marc OBrien

“Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” - George Patton

"Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." - Henry Ford

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." - Henry Ford

“If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.” - John Wooden

“If it’s a good idea and it gets you excited, try it, and if it bursts into flames, that’s going to be exciting too. People always ask, ‘What is your greatest failure?’ I always have the same answer—We’re working on it right now, it’s gonna be awesome!” - Jim Coudal

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Failures are the stepping stones to success. Without failure, we’ll never learn how to succeed. So try to fail, instead of trying to avoid failure through fear.” - Leo Babauta

“Mistakes are the best way to learn. Don’t be afraid to make them. Try not to repeat the same ones too often.” - Leo Babauta

“We don’t even have all the questions, yet, let alone all the answers.” - Michael Laine

“Fear will try to stop you. Doubts will try to stop you. You’ll shy away from doing great things, from going on new adventures, from creating something new and putting it out in the world, because of self-doubt and fear. It will happen in the recesses of your mind, where you don’t even know it’s happening. Become aware of these doubts and fears. Shine some light on them. Beat them with a thousand tiny cuts. Do it anyway, because they are wrong.” - Leo Babauta

“Go ahead, fail. Try to avoid mistakes, though.” - Seth Godin


“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion” - M. Jordan

“Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” - Paul Brandt

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
- Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

"I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done." - Henry Ford

“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” - Vince Lombardi

“It always seems impossible until its done.” -Nelson Mandela

"One of the greatest discoveries a person makes, one of their great surprises, is to find they can do what they were afraid they couldn't do." - Henry Ford

“Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.” - Bette Davis

Practice and Effort

"Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it." - Joseph Conrad

“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel – these are the things that endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events that occasion them.” - Vince Lombardi

"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature." - John D. Rockefeller

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!” - Randy Paush

“I don't care if my team wins. I care if they try their hardest to win.” - pfreivald

“Go the extra mile.  It's never crowded.”  - Author Unknown

“It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.” - Babe Ruth

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.” - Andy Rooney

“It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” - John Wooden

"Luck is not something that happens by chance. Luck is earned through dedication, work and determination." - Katie Mickley

“Almost nothing worthwhile is easy, and it’s hard to just jump in and be good at something difficult right off the bat... The only reliable way to succeed at anything is to actually do it, repeatedly, with concentrated effort. True for individuals, and true for organizations. Athletes, artists, businesses.” - John Gruber

“If you can’t draw as well as someone, or use the software as well, or if you do not have as much money to buy supplies, or if you do not have access to the tools they have, beat them by being more thoughtful. Thoughtfulness is free and burns on time and empathy.” - Frank Chimero

“Sometimes the problem has to mature before the solution can mature.” - Kent Beck

"It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste" - Henry Ford

"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking." - Henry Ford

"Everything is practice." - Pelé

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” - Colin Powell

“What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in awhile.” - Gretchen Rubin

“Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.” - Vince Lombardi

"To give yourself the best possible chance of playing to your potential, you must prepare for every eventuality. That means practice." - Seve Ballesteros

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." - Yogi Berra

"I don't know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody -- somewhere -- was practicing more than me." - Larry Bird

"I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true -- hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it." - Ray Bradbury

“Diligence is the mother of good luck” - Benjamin Franklin

“Success is dependent upon the glands - sweat glands.” - Zig Ziglar

“The habit of doing more than is necessary can only be earned through practice. And the habit is priceless.” - Seth Godin

“The great thing about working hard is that you can always work harder, the great thing about being good is that you can always be better.” -- John V-Neun


“The critical thing about the design process is to identify your scarcest resource. Despite what you may think, that very often is not money. For example, in a NASA moon shot, money is abundant but lightness is scarce; every ounce of weight requires tons of material below. On the design of a beach vacation home, the limitation may be your ocean-front footage. You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.” - Fred Brooks,

“Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.
And it’s that process that is the magic.” - Steve Jobs

"As you make a prototype, assume you are right and everyone else is wrong. When you share your prototype, assume you are wrong and everyone else is right." - Diego Rodriguez


“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” - Pat Riley

“If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.” - Shawn Achor, The happy secret to better work, TEDXBloomington, May 2011

"Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good." - V. Lombardi

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” -  Aristotle

Doing what you love/Passion

"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm" - R.W. Emerson

"Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours." - Dale Carnegie

“People who go to work to be a part of the cause don’t go home.  They are home.
Now - who wants to quit?” - Simon Sinek

“Passion won’t protect you against setbacks, but it will ensure that no failure is ever final.” - Bill Strickland


“It is amazing how much people get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit.” - Swahili proverb

“Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” - Vince Lombardi

“In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.” - Mark Sanborn

“No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” - Andrew Carnegie

“Whether it's two people, a department or an organization, teams are the means by which great things get done.” - Steven J. Stowell

"I think a lot of our team commitment is a silent understanding that each one of us has poured our life into what we're doing."  - Claire Carver-Dias

“Teamwork, dedication and friendship have a lot of play in all factors of life, including a robot contest.” - Damian Eveland

Helping Others/Cooperating

“Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself.” - Alexander Graham Bell

“Competition is very rarely as useful as cooperation. Our society is geared toward competition — rip each other’s throats out, survival of the fittest, yada yada. But humans are meant to work together for the survival of the tribe, and cooperation pools our resources and allows everyone to contribute what they can. It requires a whole other set of people skills to work cooperatively, but it’s well worth the effort.” - Leo Babauta

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” - Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

“Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.” ~Virginia Burden

“Working together works.” - Dr. Rob Gilbert

“Everything in the world we want to do or get done, we must do with and through people.” - Earl Nightingale

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” - Napoleon Hill

“People have been known to achieve more as a result of working with others than against them.” - Dr. Allan Fromme

“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” - Albert Einstein

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others." - Danny Thomas

"An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves." - Lydia M. Child

"As we help others, we cannot help but help ourselves." - Ben Cohen (cofounder, Ben & Jerry’s)

“Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee, and do not try to make the universe a blind alley.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” - Benjamin Disraeli

“It's not that successful people are givers; it is that givers are successful people.”  - Patti Thor

“People are smarter than you think. Give them a chance to prove themselves.” - Timothy Ferriss

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” - George Bernard Shaw


“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” - Yogi Berra

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” - Stephen A. Brennan

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” - Zig Ziglar

“Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.” - Lester Robert Bittel

“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small. The difficult things in this world must be done while they are easy, the greatest things in the world must be done while they are still small. For this reason sages never do what is great, and this is why they achieve greatness.” - Sun Tzu

“You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don't believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can't possibly foresee now.” - Harry S. Truman

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” - Winston Churchill


“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” - Fred Rogers

“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” - Fred Rogers

“why not always act as if the other guy is doing the favor?” - Seth Godin

“We are in the people business. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the banking business, your customers, you’re in the people business, and it’s how you treat people. I grew up with the thought that I wanted to treat people the way I’d like to be treated, and I think if you do that, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.” - Nolan Ryan

Thinking & Problem Solving

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” - George Patton

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it." - Henry Ford

"Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them." - Henry Ford

“Usually we talk about whatever is the most urgent question right now. Sometimes, especially early on, the most urgent question is to figure out what the most urgent question should be.” - Paul Graham, What Happens at Y Combinator, February 2012.


”Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” - Will Rogers

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” - William James

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is in the doing something else.” - Tom Peters, Chicago Tribune, July 11, 1994.


“Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of mental laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.” - Timothy Ferriss

“if you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” - Timothy Ferriss

“Ideas come from everything” - Alfred Hitchcock

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” - Timothy Ferriss

“How does a project get to be a year late? … One day at a time.” - Fred Brooks

“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” - Abraham Lincoln

“Asking a question is embarrassing for a moment, but not asking is embarrassing for a lifetime.” - Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore, 2006, p. 255.

“Everyone you meet is better than you at something.” - David Cain

It is easier than you'd think to get yourself crossed off a draft list. I advise my teams, "Be the team you'd want to partner with." - Joe Johnson

"What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens." - Ellen Glasgow

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” - Zig Ziglar

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” - Dr. Seuss

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” - Dr. Seuss

“Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
- Warren Buffett

“Usage is like oxygen for ideas. You can never fully anticipate how an audience is going to react to something you’ve created until it’s out there. That means every moment you’re working on something without it being in the public it’s actually dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world.” - Matt Mullenweg

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.” - Garrison Keillor Lake Wobegon Days (1985), p. 337

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a very loose English paraphrase of his French poem Dessine-moi un bateau, or Make Me a Boat, found in Citadelle, 1948.

“You'll never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him.” - Lou Holtz

“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” - Albert Einstein

"I never wear a watch, because I always know it's now -- and now is when you should do it." - Steve Mariucci

“The best way to honor someone who has said something smart and useful is to say something back that is smart and useful. The other way to honor them is to go do something with what you learned. Good listeners get what they deserve–better speakers.” - Seth Godin

“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.” - Aaron Swartz

“Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating” - John Wooden

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” - Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

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