Tidbits & Quotes: Quotations


  • This is a collection of tidbits and quotes.
  • eMail: stefan@smalla.net


  • Everything here is my very personal collection and does not reflect the opinions of current or past employers, nor does it stem from confidential information obtained there. Also, I do not personally share the opinion of all of the quotes posted here.



Melody. When you hear a Beatles melody or Marvin Gaye, it changes everything around you. You ever see those commercials where somebody's someplace and then the whole room changes? Melody does that.

Combs, Sean John

Posted Feb 17, 2009 | # | Category: Quotations

You don't want to have organizations in what some people think of as a liquid state. I'm an engineer by training so my physics comes back. An organization is something very solid and when you apply a lot of heat to change it, it becomes fluid. You want to make sure that you don't keep it fluid too long, because liquids move in many directions that you might not have intended.

Eduardo Castro-Wright

WSJ, August 2008

Posted Aug 24, 2008 | # | Category: Quotations

In God we trust; all others bring data.

W. Edwards Deming

Posted Mar 28, 2008 | # | Category: Quotations

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.

Groucho Marx

Posted Jan 08, 2008 | # | Category: Quotations

Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness.

Dorothy Parker

Posted Jan 03, 2008 | # | Category: Quotations

We inevitably doom our children to failure and frustration when we try to set their goals for them.

Jess Lair

Posted Oct 10, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

A man must be master of his hours and days, not their servant.

William Frederick Book

Posted Oct 03, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

Walt Disney

Posted Aug 09, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

A woman never knows what she really wants until she finds out what her husband cannot afford.


Posted Jul 28, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

I decide who offends me.

Klaus Kinski

Posted Jul 26, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.

Samuel Levenson

Posted Jul 18, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.

Vince Lombardi

Posted Jun 24, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Caution is a most valuable asset in fishing, especially if you are the fish.


Posted Jun 17, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Walter Bagehot

Posted Apr 24, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

A police state finds that it cannot command the grain to grow.

John F. Kennedy

Posted Apr 22, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Wenn ich Mathematikprofessor oder Physiker werden will, brauche ich ein Studium. Aber um einen kaufmännischen Beruf auszuüben, in dem jeden Tag etwas Neues passiert, muss ich nicht bis zum Sankt-Nimmerleins-Tag studieren.

Uli Hoeness

Posted Apr 14, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here.

Stephen Bishop

Posted Mar 27, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him.

George Santayana

Posted Mar 26, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

If one cannot invent a really convincing lie, it is often better to stick to the truth.

Angela Thirkell

Posted Mar 25, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

When a woman dresses up for an occasion, the man should become the black velvet pillow for the jewel.

John Weitz

Posted Mar 22, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Music is essentially useless, as life is.

George Santayana

Posted Mar 21, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.

Colin Powell

Posted Mar 19, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.

Joe Paterno

Posted Mar 18, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.

John Knox

Posted Mar 14, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend.

Jacques Derrida

Posted Feb 23, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Posted Feb 15, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

The nice thing about being a celebrity is that when you bore people, they think it's their fault.

Henry Kissinger

Posted Feb 13, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Instinct is action taken in pursuance of a purpose, but without conscious perception of what the purpose is.

Van Hartmann

Posted Feb 11, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

There is no delight in owning anything unshared.


Posted Feb 09, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.

Stevie Wonder

Posted Feb 07, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

All this talk about equality. The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die.

Bob Dylan

Posted Feb 05, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

George Eliot

Posted Feb 02, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Adventure is just bad planning.

Roald Amundsen

Posted Jan 30, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Why is it when we talk to God, we're praying, but when God talks to us, we're schizophrenic?

Lily Tomlin

Posted Jan 29, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.

John Burroughs

Posted Jan 25, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

I have only one superstition. I touch all the bases when I hit a home run.

Babe Ruth

Posted Jan 24, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.

Flannery O'Connor

Posted Jan 12, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.

Jim Manzi

Posted Jan 07, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Popularity is overrated. Style is not a democracy.

GQ's Style Guy

Posted Jan 05, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

No one travelling on a business trip would be missed if he failed to arrive.

Thorstein Veblen

Posted Jan 04, 2007 | # | Category: Quotations

Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.

Edgar Watson Howe

Posted Dec 31, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting, but never hit soft.

Theodore Roosevelt

Posted Dec 24, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.

John F. Kennedy

Posted Dec 22, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.

Gloria Steinem

Posted Dec 08, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.

Isaac Asimov

Posted Dec 06, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.

Newt Gingrich

Posted Dec 03, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought.

Pablo Picasso

Posted Nov 30, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The ideal has many names, and beauty is but one of them.

W. Somerset Maugham

Posted Nov 28, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

If you train people properly, they won't be able to tell a drill from the real thing. If anything, the real thing will be easier.

Richard Marcinko

Posted Nov 27, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Action is the foundational key to all success.

Pablo Picasso

Posted Nov 26, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.


Posted Nov 25, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.

Ara Parasheghian

Posted Nov 23, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.

Mark Twain

Posted Oct 31, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

A modest little person, with much to be modest about.

Winston Churchill

Posted Oct 28, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is.


Posted Oct 27, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.

Samuel Johnson

Posted Oct 26, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Life's too short for chess.

Henry J. Byron

Posted Oct 25, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

There can't be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

Henry Kissinger

Posted Oct 23, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.

Reggie Jackson

Posted Oct 23, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

John Ruskin

Posted Oct 22, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The trouble with jogging is that, by the time you realize you're not in shape for it, it's too far to walk back.

Franklin P. Jones

Posted Oct 11, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

He had delusions of adequacy.

Walter Kerr

Posted Oct 07, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure.

Jack E. Leonard

Posted Oct 07, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader. Don't fall victim to what I call the Ready- Aim-Aim-Aim Syndrome. You must be willing to fire.

T. Boone Pickens

Posted Sep 29, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Success means only doing what you do well, letting someone else do the rest.

Goldstein S. Truism

Posted Sep 28, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Money can't buy happiness, but neither can poverty.

Leo Rosten

Posted Sep 27, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Confusion is always the most honest response.

Marty Indik

Posted Sep 26, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make use and get advantage of her as I can, as is usual in such cases.

Henry David Thoreau

Posted Sep 16, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The great living experience for every man is his adventure into the woman. The man embraces in the woman all that is not himself, and from that one resultant, from that embrace, comes every new action.

D.H. Lawrence

Posted Sep 08, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.

Joseph Addison

Posted Aug 31, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.

Ian Percy

Posted Aug 23, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

We love vegetarians. All our chickens are vegetarian.


Found on a restaurant menu in London

Posted Aug 17, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

I detest life-insurance agents; they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so.

Stephen Leacock

Posted Aug 16, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.

Lou Holtz

Posted Aug 02, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.

Martin Mull

Posted Aug 01, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back.

Abigail van Buren

Posted Jul 25, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.

Herbert Hoover

Posted Jul 24, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.

Palmer Sondreal

Posted Jul 23, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Posted Jul 12, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

He knows all about art, but he doesn't know what he likes.

James Thurber

Posted Jul 01, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The trouble with facts is that there are so many of them.

Samuel McChord Crothers

Posted Jun 18, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Posted Jun 11, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.

Dave Barry

Posted May 25, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Every winner has scars.

Herbert N. Casson

Posted Apr 09, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Don't ever slam a door, you might want to go back.

Don Herold

Posted Mar 08, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning.

Pat Riley

Posted Mar 06, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

That's why many fail -- because they don't get started -- they don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin.

W. Clement Stone

Posted Mar 01, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and give her a house.

Lewis Grizzard

Posted Feb 27, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Posted Feb 23, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.

Chinese proverb

Posted Feb 22, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

To be content with life -- or to live merrily, rather -- all that is required is that we bestow on all things only a fleeting, superficial glance; the more thoughtful we become the more earnest we grow.

Georg C. Lichtenberg

Posted Feb 21, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

I have had dreams, and I have had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.

Jonas Salk

Posted Feb 16, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

If you're enthusiastic about the things you're working on, people will come ask you to do interesting things.

James Woolsey, former CIA director

Posted Feb 09, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

To accuse others for one's own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete.


Posted Feb 08, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.

Cullen Hightower

Posted Feb 07, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less.

General Eric Shinseki

Posted Feb 06, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.

James Dean

Posted Feb 05, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the
world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

Posted Feb 03, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.

Napoleon Hill

Posted Feb 02, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

Helen Keller

Posted Feb 01, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Martyrdom is the only way a man can become famous without ability.

George Bernard Shaw

Posted Jan 31, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.

Napoleon Hill

Posted Jan 30, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.

Samuel Johnson

Posted Jan 28, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.

Frances Willard

Posted Jan 25, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Albert Einstein

Posted Jan 24, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.

Alan Lakein

Posted Jan 21, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

There are no days in life so memorable as those which vibrate to some stroke of the imagination.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted Jan 20, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil.

Baltasar Gracian

Posted Jan 17, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.

Jean de la Fontaine

Posted Jan 16, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

Of course we cross our fingers for our team, and I think chances are not that bad. The women's national soccer team already is world champion, and I don't see a reason why men would not be able to achieve the same as women.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

Found here

Posted Jan 15, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs.

Joan Didion

Posted Jan 10, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

Indira Gandhi

Posted Jan 09, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

True greatness consists in being great in little things.

Charles Simmons

Posted Jan 07, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Albert Einstein

Posted Jan 04, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

Posted Jan 03, 2006 | # | Category: Quotations

That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.

Aldous Huxley

Posted Dec 12, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from the eternal.


Posted Dec 11, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.

Stan Smith

Posted Dec 09, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Priority is a function of context.

Stephen R. Covey

Posted Dec 08, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

People who are smart get into Mensa. People who are really smart look around and leave.

James Randi

Posted Dec 06, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Less isn't more; just enough is more.

Milton Glaser

Found here

Posted Dec 02, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.

Gerry Sikorski

Posted Nov 30, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoi

Posted Nov 29, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.

Woodrow T. Wilson

Posted Nov 22, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of.


Posted Nov 20, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.

Belva Davis

Posted Nov 05, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.

George Santayana

Posted Oct 23, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

It's like Patti LaBelle, she has a beautiful voice, especially when she hits high notes. But if she hit a high note the whole song, you'd never want another like it from her. It's the fact that she eases into it, and that it's just a small part, a bridge of a song, makes it beautiful. And that's what life is. It's the bridge of a song.


From Fortune

Posted Oct 19, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

I'm trying to right my wrongs.
But its funny these same wrongs helped me write this song.

Kanye West

From the song "We don't care"

Posted Oct 16, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.

Henrik Tikkanen

Posted Oct 09, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.

Edith Sitwell

Posted Sep 26, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

H. P. Lovecraft

Posted Sep 25, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.

G. K. Chesterton

Posted Sep 10, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous.

Bill Moyers

Found here

Posted Sep 06, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.

G. K. Chesterton

Posted Sep 02, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it.

G. K. Chesterton

Posted Aug 21, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

The mediocre talent just never hits the high notes that the top talent hits all the time. The number of divas who can hit the f6 in Mozart's Queen of the Night is vanishingly small, and you just can't perform The Queen of the Night without that famous f6.

Joel Spolsky

From "Hitting the High Notes"

Posted Aug 20, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

The possibilities are endless. I plan to hide in the woods.

Gordon Fitch

Found here

Posted Aug 01, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.

Albert Camus

Posted Jun 11, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted Jun 01, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person! Having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together. Certain that a faithful hand will take them and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

George Eliot

Posted May 29, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

A true friend is someone that knows the song of your soul, and sings it back to you when you have forgotten the words.


Posted May 28, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

Albert Schweitzer

Posted May 27, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted May 26, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

No duty the Executive had to perform was so trying as to put the right man in the right place.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted May 22, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars.

Plaque for the Apollo One crew

Posted May 16, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Voters don't decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.

George F. Will

Posted May 03, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted Apr 24, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

In our view, based on our considerable boardroom experience, the least independent directors are likely to be those who receive an important fraction of their annual income from the fees they receive for board service (and who hope as well to be recommended for election to other boards and thereby to boost their income further). Yet these are the very board members most often classed as "independent".

Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

From the 2004 Chairman's Letter

Posted Apr 17, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

I like the bar being set so high that falling off would kill you.

Pete Parsons, Studio Manager, Bungie

Found here

Posted Apr 12, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

... the Berkshire board is a model: (a) every director is a member of a family owning at least $4 million of stock; (b) none of these shares were acquired from Berkshire via options or grants; (c) no directors receive committee, consulting or board fees from the company that are more than a tiny portion of their annual income; and (d) although we have a standard corporate indemnity arrangement, we carry no liability insurance for directors. At Berkshire, board members travel the same road as shareholders.

Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

From the 2004 Chairman's Letter

Posted Apr 10, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

I viewed the selection of a flight provider as akin to picking a brain surgeon: you simply want the best. (Let someone else experiment with the low bidder.)

Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

From the 2004 Chairman's Letter

Posted Mar 26, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

... a hypothetical tale about an employee who asked his boss for permission to hire an assistant. The employee assumed that adding $20,000 to the annual payroll would be inconsequential. But his boss told him the proposal should be evaluated as a $3 million decision, given that an additional person would probably cost at least that amount over his lifetime, factoring in raises, benefits and other expenses (more people, more toilet paper). And unless the company fell on very hard times, the employee added would be unlikely to be dismissed, however marginal his contribution to the business.

Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

From the 2004 Chairman's Letter

Posted Mar 25, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

... illustrates the importance of a guideline – stay with simple propositions – that we usually apply in investments as well as operations. If only one variable is key to a decision, and the variable has a 90% chance of going your way, the chance for a successful outcome is obviously 90%. But if ten independent variables need to break favorably for a successful result, and each has a 90% probability of success, the likelihood of having a winner is only 35%. ... Since a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, it makes sense to look for – if you’ll excuse an oxymoron – mono-linked chains.

Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

From the 2004 Chairman's Letter

Posted Mar 20, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.

Virgina Woolf, Writer

Found here

Posted Mar 19, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.

Polish Proverb


Posted Mar 12, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction.

Douglas MacArthur

Posted Mar 10, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

T. S. Eliot

Posted Mar 08, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.

Donald H. Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense

Posted Mar 07, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

Charles Mackay

Posted Feb 24, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.

H. L. Mencken

Posted Feb 19, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted Feb 10, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted Jan 31, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted Jan 22, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Winston Churchill

Posted Jan 20, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

One man with courage is a majority.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted Jan 18, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted Jan 16, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted Jan 16, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

I am just one person, and I could be wrong.

Dennis Miller

Posted Jan 02, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Strive for perfection in everything we do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough.

Henry Royce, Rolls-Royce

Found in "Business Transformation" by Gouillart/Kelly

Posted Dec 29, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

We become what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit!


Posted Dec 27, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.

B.F. Skinner

Posted Dec 25, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

We're not going to stop fighting 'till hell freezes over! Then we're gonna fight on the ice!

Pat Buchanan, Politician

Posted Dec 22, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

The time is always right to do what is right.

Martin Luther King

Posted Dec 20, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life.

John F. Kennedy, US President

Posted Dec 18, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw, Writer

Posted Dec 14, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Anyone who criticizes others must have an alternative to offer to them.

Mo Ti

Posted Dec 13, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Not every end is a goal. The end of a melody is not its goal; however, if the melody has not reached its end, it would also not have reached its goal. A parable.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Posted Dec 12, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Sometimes people have a beef against me, and part of that beef comes from being a little too direct in my feedback. To me, the other thing I'm rigorous about is intellectual honesty. To me, honesty is really, really important. That means when an entrepreneur is screwing up, I call him up and say, "You're screwing up. OK?" I'm not polite. I prefer brutal honesty to hypocritical politeness any time of the day. Because fundamentally, every time you're hypocritically polite in a situation where it matters, the outcome is going to be impacted, you hurt the company, the entrepreneurs, and all the people you have helped recruit.

Vhinod Khosla, VC

Posted Dec 07, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Excellence can be attained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible.


Posted Nov 30, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

A cat that jumps on a hot stove will never jump on a hot stove again. Neither will it jump on a cold stove.

Michael Cameron

Posted Nov 24, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.


Posted Nov 21, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I don't know if it will get better, if it gets different. But it has to get different to get better.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Posted Nov 19, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

Henri Nouwen

Posted Nov 13, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.

George S. Patton, General

Posted Nov 10, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

Carl Sagan

Posted Nov 09, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

If sometimes you feel yourself little, useless, offended and depressed, always remember that you were once the fastest and most victorious sperm in your group.


Posted Nov 08, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

The great advantage of being in a rut is that when one is in a rut, one knows exactly where one is.

Arnold Bennett

Posted Nov 01, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein

Posted Oct 31, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

People who seized the opportunity and took the money are alive now.
When markets present supply-demand imbalances, you've got to take
advantage of those.

Frank Quattrone, formerly with CSFB

Posted Oct 25, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.

Bill Vaughan, Writer


Posted Sep 26, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I'm dominant every night. I come in every night and get beat up. I
never make a face when they try to flagrant or hack-a-Shaq me,
because I'm not from this planet. Earthlings don't faze me...

Shaquille O'Neal, Basketball Superstar

Posted Jul 31, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits.

Dan Barker, Author

From the book "Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist"

Posted Jul 26, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.

Hubert H. Humphrey, US Vice President


Posted Jul 25, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Failure is humbling, character-building and can teach you, but it is
definitely not good.

Julie Wainwright, Former Pets.com CEO

Posted Jul 24, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

It is not how hard you push along the way. It is having something in you to finish.

Michael Jordan, Basketball God

Posted Jul 22, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

Oscar Wilde, Writer

Posted Jul 20, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

Arnold H. Glasgow, Psychologist

Posted Jul 19, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I have failed over and over and over and over. And that is why I suceed!

Michael Jordan, Basketball Deity

Posted Jul 18, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Each of us is given five balls. One is rubber and four are glass. The rubber ball is work. If you drop it, it will always bounce back. The other four glass balls are family, friends, health and integrity. If you drop them, they are shattered. They won't bounce back.

Rebecca Ryan


Posted Jul 16, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution.

Wernher von Braun, Rocket Engineer


Posted Jul 14, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, US President

Posted Jul 13, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I've never taken a position on the stock price, and I don't think it's appropriate for management to take a position on stock price. [Management's] job is to build an important, lasting, valuable company, and to work hard at that. And then there's the job of investors -- to try to assess what that company is worth. Those jobs are hard [and distinct]. So, I never speculate on stock price.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com

Source: Business Week

Posted Jul 09, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.

Henry Ford, Industrialist

Posted Jul 08, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I will have no man work for me who has not the capacity to become a partner.

JC Penney, Businessman

Posted Jul 07, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.

Luciano de Crescenzo, Author

Posted Jul 06, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Philip K. Dick, Author

Posted Jul 05, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.

BF Skinner, Psychologist

Posted Jul 04, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

He will never be a tough competitor. He doesn't know how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Lou Piniella, Baseball Manager

Posted Jul 01, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Robert McCloskey

Posted Jun 30, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Don't be humble. You're not that great.

Golda Meir, Politician


Posted Jun 28, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.

Arnold Toynbee, Historian


Posted Jun 27, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

If you don't have a valid business model, scaling up only means losing money faster.

Terry Opdendyk, Venture Capitalist

Posted Jun 25, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Do what you like, but like what you do.

Winston Churchill, British Statesman


Posted Jun 22, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

You don't get anything clean without getting something else dirty.

Cecil Baxter

Posted Jun 21, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I'm never absolutely sure of anything, and I don't want to be. You're either right and you'll pull through, or you're not. We're never going to be right about everything, and we've certainly been wrong.

Barry Diller, CEO of InterActiveCorp

Quoted in Fortune on May 3, 2004.

Posted Jun 20, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

It is not always recognized that, to function best, morality should sometimes appear unfair, like most worldly outcomes. The craving for perfect fairness causes a lot of terrible problems in system function. Some systems should be made deliberately unfair to individuals because they’ll be fairer on average for all of us. I frequently cite the example of having your career over, in the Navy, if your ship goes aground, even if it wasn’t your fault. I say the lack of justice for the one guy that wasn’t at fault is way more than made up by a greater justice for everybody when every captain of a ship always sweats blood to make sure the ship doesn’t go aground. Tolerating a little unfairness to some to get a greater fairness for all is a model I recommend to all of you.

Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway


Posted Jun 18, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

So, economics should emulate physics' basic ethos, but its search for precision in physics–like formulas is almost always wrong in economics.

Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway


Posted Jun 17, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Reinhold Niebuhr, Theologian


Posted Jun 16, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Well practically everybody (1) overweighs the stuff that can be numbered, because it yields to the statistical techniques they’re taught in academia, and (2) doesn’t mix in the hard-to-measure stuff that may be more important. That is a mistake I’ve tried all my life to avoid, and I have no regrets for having done that.

Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway


Posted Jun 15, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.

Nancy Astor, British Politician


Posted Jun 14, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

You know, by the time you reach my age, you've made plenty of mistakes if you've lived your life properly. So you learn. You put things in perspective. You pull your energies together. You change. You go forward. My fellow Americans, I have a great deal that I want to accomplish with you and for you over the next two years. And, the Lord willing, that's exactly what I intend to do.

Ronald Reagan, US President

In 1987 regarding the Iran arms affair

Posted Jun 10, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

Scott Adams, Comic Author

Posted Jun 04, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

James Thurber, Writer and Cartoonist

Found here

Posted May 25, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

It's funny that on old photos people look younger.

Olli Dietrich, Comedian

Posted May 21, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

The rule of my life is to make business a pleasure, and pleasure my business.

Aaron Burr, US Vice President


Posted May 20, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Nobody in TV makes as much money as Robert Redford, who likes to make movies for several million dollars only on the condition that they contain some sort of social message. I can't take very seriously a social message delivered by an actor who's paid nine million dollars to deliver it, and who charges you five dollars to see it.

David Brinkley, Journalist


Posted May 19, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.

Ambrose Bierce, Writer


Posted May 18, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

To the small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name knowledge.

Ambrose Bierce, Writer


Posted May 16, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.

Harry Truman, US President

Posted May 15, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

William Shakespeare

Posted May 14, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Friend: One who knows all about you and loves you just the same.

Elbert Hubbard


Posted May 13, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

God created the flirt as soon as He made the fool.

Victor Hugo

Posted May 12, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back again.

Frances Rodman

Posted May 11, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied.

Mark Twain

Posted May 10, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

There's a rule they don't teach you at the Harvard Business School. It is, if anything is worth doing, it's worth doing to excess.

Edwin Land, former CEO of Polaroid

Posted May 08, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

There is, therefore, only one categorical imperative. It is: Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.

Immanuel Kant, Philosopher

Posted May 07, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.

Oscar Wilde, Writer

Posted May 06, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.

Oscar Levant, Musician


Posted May 05, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.


Posted May 04, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Give us the luxuries of life and we will dispense with the necessities.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Physician, Poet, and Humorist


Posted May 03, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

Woodrow Wilson, President


Posted May 02, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I may not understand, but I am willing to admire.

Anthony Hope, Writer


Posted May 01, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I am not young enough to know everything.

Oscar Wilde, Writer

Posted Apr 30, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.

Horace, Roman Poet


Posted Apr 29, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

Mark Twain

Posted Apr 28, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.

Samuel Johnson


Posted Apr 27, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

To write brashly about some things, it is almost necessary not to know much about them.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Writer


Posted Apr 26, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Be competitive, intense, and accountable.

Craig Conway, PeopleSoft President

Posted Apr 24, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means.

Robert Louis Stevenson, Novelist & Poet


Posted Apr 21, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I'm desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.

Dave Edison

Posted Apr 18, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.

H. L. Mencken, American Writer


Posted Apr 16, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

The four stages of scientific acceptance:
This is worthless nonsense.
This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
This is true, but quite unimportant.
I always said so.

JBS Haldane, Scientist

(1892 - 1964)

Posted Apr 13, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishment - there are consequences.

Robert G. Ingersoll, Political Speechmaker


Posted Apr 12, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

To be a number one, you will have to train like a number two.

Maurice Green, Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Posted Apr 09, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Never argue with a fool. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Laszlo Finnegan

Source unknown.

Posted Apr 07, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

What is the major problem? It is fundamentally the confusion between effectiveness and efficiency that stands between doing the right things and doing things right. There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.

Peter F. Drucker (Management Thinker)

Posted Apr 05, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Posted Apr 01, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded, dead.

Woody Allen, Actor

Posted Mar 30, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations

Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.

Jonathan Winters, Comedian

Found at The Quotations Page.

Posted Mar 24, 2004 | # | Category: Quotations


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