The ABCDs of Business
I have always found quotes to be very interesting. Not stock quotes (although I guess they can also be interesting), but quotes said by well - known people. Sometimes, these quotes can be great words of wisdom that provide inspiration, while other times, they are little more than laughing material.
For instance, if we looked at the topic of winning, one quote that comes to mind is:
“Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing” - Vince Lombardi
And then there's Charlie Sheen:
Outside of the everyday context, quotes can also be found to describe or give better insight about certain business concepts. Excerpted from The Economist's "Book of Business Quotations," below are some memorable quotes regarding particular business - related subjects, in order from A to D:
A is for Advertising
Advertising is a crucial source that drives business. It seeks to entice potential customers and to persuade them to purchase the company’s product/service. Here are a couple quotes about the importance of advertising:
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does” – Stuart Henderson Britt, academic scholar.
“In our factory, we make lipstick. In our advertising we sell hope.” – Charles Revlon, Founder of Revlon.
B is for Banks and Bankers
Banks and their employees are important in helping manage money, assisting with monetary transactions, raising capital, etc. Here are some notable people’s take on them:
In response to former Goldman executive Greg Smith’s criticism against the company,“I am just a banker doing God’s work” – Lloyd Blankfein, CEO.
“One rule which woe betides the banker who fails to heed it, Never lend any money to anybody unless they don’t need it.” – Ogden Nash, poet.
“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” – Mayer Amschelof the banking family.
“The old saying holds. Owe your banker £1,000 and you are at his mercy; owe him £1m and the position is reversed.” – John Maynard Keynes, economist.
C is for Capitalism
Capitalism is the economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods and services. People have always had different views about the effectiveness of the system. Some see it as a benefit while others view it as a scourge to society:
“Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.” – Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister.
On the most effective way to raise people’s standard of living, “The historical debate is over. The answer is free – market capitalism.” – Thomas Friedman, author and 3 - time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.
On the flip side, there’s philosopher Karl Marx:
“Capital is money, capital is commodities. By virtue of it being value, it has acquired the occult ability to add value to itself. It brings forth live offspring, or, at least, lays golden eggs.”
D is for Dishonesty
The issue of dishonesty has been in the news quite a bit recent given the number of corporate scandals. The term can be used to describe cheating, fraud, or a lack of moral scruples and sadly, it is often associated with business:
“There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat.” – Jeremy Irons' character John Tuld in the 2011 movie.
“The market is a place set apart where men may deceive each other.” – Diogenes Laertius, ancient Greek biographer.
“I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.” – author Charles Dickens in his novel Hunted Down.
For E through Z, you can purchase the entire book of business quotations here.
Are there any other notable quotes that you guys can think of for each of these categories? If not, try to come up with your own.