I read a lot of books and articles. As I find useful ideas(to me), I'm recording them here so that I can continually reflect upon them and see what they might be trying to tell me.

See PmGraffiti for other ideas that have popped into my head and that aren't direct quotes. There are also a large number of useful ideas and quotations in GoodToGreatIdeas.

Be so good they can't ignore you.

Steve Martin

There's nothing more reassuring than realizing that the world is crazier than you are.

Thor: The Dark World

Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other.

Benjamin Franklin

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Attributed to Winston Churchill

To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell.

Buddhist proverb

"The Genius of the And" (versus the "Tyranny of the Or")

Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, 1899

Technology brings value when it diminishes an existing limitation. However, technology is only a necessary but not sufficient condition. In order to obtain the full benefits of a new technology, we must also change the rules and habits we possess that recognized the existence of the limitation.

Summarized from Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Necessary But Not Sufficient

Ignore the familiar hype: Information is not the foundation of the "New Economy", for information is not an economic offering. As our friend John Perry Barlow likes to say, information wants to be free. Only when companies constitute it in the form of information services--or informational goods and informing experiences--do they create economic value.

Pine and Gilmore, The Experience Economy

Touch-typing is a skill you learn.

Jeff Hawkins on Palm Graffiti, as quoted in Butter and Pogue, Piloting Palm

Avoid the bozo explosion. ... If you hire one bozo, he'll soon turn around and hire people just like him.

Ed Colligan, as quoted in Butter and Pogue, Piloting Palm

It's very important. But standards are built, not announced.

Ed Colligan on why Palm didn't think it was important to market PalmOS as the standard handheld platform (unlike Apple and Microsoft), as quoted in Butter and Pogue, Piloting Palm

Our plan is to lead the market with new products, rather than ask them what kind of products they want....Instead of doing a lot of market research, we...refine a product...and try to create a market for it by educating and communicating with the public.

Akio Morita, Made In Japan

If the Internet was giving the world a shove in a certain direction, it was probably because the world already felt inclined to move in that direction. ... Inadvertently, [the Internet] was telling us what we wanted to become. their efforts to provide better products than their competitors and earn higher prices and margins, suppliers often "overshoot" their market: They give customers more than they need or are ultimately willing to pay for. And more importantly, it means that disruptive technologies that may underperform today, relative to what users in the market demand, may be fully performance competitive in that same market tomorrow.

Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma

Linus' Law: Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.

Eric S. Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar

When the IDN-WG was initiated, it was obvious to several of the participants that its first important task was an undocumented one: to increase the understanding of the complexities of the problem sufficiently that naive solutions could be rejected and people could go to work on the harder problems. The IDN-WG clearly accomplished that task. The beliefs that the problems were simple, and in the corresponding simplistic approaches and their promises of quick and painless deployment, effectively disappeared as the WG's efforts matured.

John C. Klensin, RFC 3467.

Moreover, however effective such technical restrictions are at honoring the author's wishes, they will be exactly that effective in overriding the wishes of her correspondents and would-be forwarders. Technical schemes make this conflict explicit: I want to do this but I can't because someone else says I can't.

Perspective is worth 50 IQ points.

Alan Kay

QQ: To make technology productive in a transformation from good to great means asking the following questions. Does the technology fit directly with your Hedgehog Concept? If yes, then you need to become a pioneer in the application of that technology. If no, then ask, do you need this technology at all? If yes, then all you need is parity. [...] If no, then the technology is irrelevant and you can ignore it. QF: Jim Collins, Good to Great (see also GoodToGreatIdeas)

QQ: Las Vegas == A SimCity game gone horribly wrong. QF: Douglas Coupland, Microserfs

Most men would rather die, than think. Many do.

Bertrand Russell

QQ: While a product meets a need, an experience fulfills a desire. QF: Rubin and Gold, Dragon Spirit: How to Self-Market Your Dream (cf. Pine and Gilmore, The Experience Economy)

QQ: In the long now, all distances are small. QF: Scott Duff

Organizations with strong safety cultures generally acknowledge that a leader's best response to unanimous consent is to play devil's advocate and encourage an exhaustive debate.

Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report, Volume I (page 192)

Streamlining and downsizing, which scarcely go unnoticed by employees, convey a message that efficiency is an important goal.

Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report, Volume I (page 199)

Engineers and program planners were also affected by "Can-Do", which, when taken too far, can create a reluctance to say that something cannot be done.

Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report, Volume I (page 199)

Leaders create culture. It is their responsibility to change it. Top administrators must take responsibility for risk, failure, and safety by remaining alert to the effects their decisions have on the system.

Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report, Volume I (page 203)

Power corrupts and PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.

Attributed to Vint Cerf [1]

Microsoft Windows looks better the more it starts to look like Unix.

Guest speaker at Jan 2004 DFWUUG meeting.

Those who study genetics avoid studying humans... Because new generations come along only every thirty years or so, it takes a long time to understand the cause and effect of any changes. Instead, they study fruit flies, because they are conceived, born, mature, and die all within a single day. If you want to understand why something happens in business, study the disk drive industry. Those companies are the closest things to fruit flies that the business world will ever see.

quoted in Clayton Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma

From the beginning of the OEM disk drive industry, product development had proceeded in three sequential steps. First you designed the drive; then you made it; and then you sold it. We changed all that. We first sell the drives; then we design them; and then we build them.

Conner executive quoted in Clayton Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

Geek's corollary to Clarke's 3rd Law
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