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31 August, 2009

“I used to sell furniture for a living. The trouble was, it was my own.”

— The late English comedian Les Dawson on finding one’s groove.

28 August, 2009

“Above all, I insist at lunches, dinners and meetings in China that everyone keeps a sense of humour. Humour has a better chance of saving our planet than carbon sequestration or the UN.”

Greg Rudd (brother of Prime Minister Kevin), who advises on investment and joint ventures for GPR Asia, based in Beijing.

24 August, 2009

You say: “I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur.”
Investor thinks: “So what… I’ve always wanted to be a professional golfer.”

You say: “I love to think of new ways to solve problems.”
Investor thinks: “Is this a high-school science fair?””

You say: “My goal is to build a world-class company.”
Investor thinks: “How about you ship and sell the first copy before we talk about world-class anything?”

Guy Kawasaki on speaking to an investor.”

20 August, 2009

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

— Author and satirist Terry Pratchett.

19 August, 2009

“You don’t want another Enron? Here’s your law: If a company can’t explain in ONE SENTENCE what it does… it’s illegal.”

— US comedian Lewis Black on keeping it real.

18 August, 2009

“But what we SMEs need most of all is business! More than any amount of funding, the first customer for a startup R&D business is absolutely priceless. The most powerful stimulus a government could provide might be to create mini-markets with lower hurdles of winning that first modest customer, even in a proof-of-concept mode.”

Stephen Wilson, Lockstep Technologies, Minister Carr wants to know how you would spend $196 million

17 August, 2009

“What’s the definition of a ‘commercialisation expert’? A public servant with an MBA.”

— Churchill Club founder Brendan Lewis touches a nerve.

14 August, 2009

“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

13 August, 2009

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.”

— White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel

12 August, 2009

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

Oscar Wilde

11 August, 2009

“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too late and we reach it.”

— Renaissance artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni on why it’s important to occasionally stretch yourself.

10 August, 2009

“There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.”

— The wisdom of Indira Gandhi.

7 August, 2009

The parallels between writing and golf, as expertly outlined in the passage below, apply equally to starting a business.

“Writers like to think that writing is like Arctic exploration or flying the Atlantic solo, but actually it’s more like golf. You’ve got to just do it and be happy. Some writers spend twenty minutes lining up a four-foot putt. Some writers pitch a tent on the green and stay for a week and brood about friction and energy and the gender of their putter. What’s the problem? Take your shot. It’s no shame to bogey. Just do it and have a good time. Don’t base your whole life on worrying about whether you’re any good or not. If you need to know, you shouldn’t be playing this game.”

Garrison Keillor in Love Me (1993).

6 August, 2009

“It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.”

— US author Gore Vidal putting success in context.

5 August, 2009

“Chris Anderson tells us about the future economy where everything is free. It already is, provided we don’t pay China back.”

— US satirist Stephen Colbert

4 August, 2009

“I’ve said to the government, as a hypothetical, if everybody who entered into a new superannuation policy had at the bottom of their application form a question that said: I would like up to two percent of my superannuation to be invested in emerging Australian businesses – tick yes or no – our problems would be over.”

Geoff Mullins of VentureAxess, in The Entrepreneur vs. Venture Capitalist

3 August, 2009

“If you aren’t feeling uncomfortable, you aren’t delegating enough.”

— A casual piece of wisdom overheard in Federation Square, Melbourne.

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