The second best way of learning how to build companies
Building companies is hard work. There’s plenty of ways to do it, and most times, it’s very difficult to attribute decisions to success or failure in order to extract objective lessons. The best way of learning to build companies is building many companies. The second best way is listening to industry seniors with a lot of scar tissue. Some of the best business advice I’ve received has been transmitted through the use of quotes or other speech figures.
Figures of speech have been used for centuries to transfer knowledge. The first forms of written poetry where actually sponsored by rulers in early civilisations to govern their people. They are easy to remember because they are short, or rhyme, or because of when or by whom it was said. Most importantly, they convey wisdom. This communication technique is particularly useful for domains which can’t really be learned academically, but rather must be experienced. Subjects such as parenting, writing, investing, spirituality or business.
These speech figures are tremendously helpful in influencing others and in decision making. One that properly sticks in a team can help establish culture.
This series of posts is a categorised list of business quotes which have stuck around in my network over the years. My intention is to have an ongoing, open discussion with you. Engage with you through comments and messages on which is the best quote for what, and who exactly said which quote in case I’m mistaken. I also plan to update these regularly; turn them into a knowledge hub on how to run and operate a company.
Criteria for selecting quotes, and ordering them in posts
In company building, there’s a lot of important areas to think about. I’ve decided to classify quotes into relevant topics to make the reading and discussing easier. Within each post, I’ve ranked the figures considering the following criteria:
- Shorter = Better — I might have shortened some quotes myself with the intention of making them more memorable while conveying the same message.
- Figures of speech > Quotes — They just stick better in our minds. They’ve been used for thousands of years for a reason.
- Mental Biases & syndromes > Quotes — Science is fact based, so anything described as science will stick better in our minds.
- Public figures > Anonymous authors. — The reason celebrities get to speak for causes instead of domain experts, is because we listen to them more, not because they are knowledgeable. Successful individuals don’t necessarily know better, but their messages get through much better.
- Some quotes have been grouped together. Different relevant people saying the same thing in different ways makes the message more powerful.
Topics and quotes
- Starting up quotes
- Hiring quotes
- Product quotes
- Growth and Branding quotes
- Company culture quotes
- Being a CEO quotes
I hope you enjoy and please engage! I’d love these lists to get better.