Quote of the Day

[pullquote] “A lot of companies are too rigid. They don’t see the changing market opportunities, so they miss with their product. Or it can be the opposite, where companies shift with every latest trend and never stay on topic long enough to develop a real product. The challenge is in striking that balance.”

-Roland Green: NimbleGen


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“One of the problems with highly educated, technical people is that they get caught up in analysis and can’t make a decision. I’ve always been a believer that the last part of a good decision is based on intuition not fact.”

-Dane Miller: Biomet

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“You have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. If you want to be successful, use them in that proportion. Entrepreneurs overemphasize what they are talking about, forget to listen, forget to look.”

-Mark Tebbe: Lante Corporation, Answers.com (ANSW)

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“We’ve lived through bankruptcies, lawsuits, fighting with states — endless insanity. I think if you’re in business long enough and you move at a fast pace, you get to a certain scale and business just gets crazy. It’s not a perfect science.”

-Eric Lefkofsky: InnerWorkings, Groupon, Echo Global

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“The biggest mistake company founders make is their inability to let go of control. Many founders think they need to be in control even when the company has evolved beyond them. You need to know your limitations and, if necessary, find people who are more adept at running the company and taking it to the next level.”

-Tony Faras: MGI Pharma

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People get caught up in just going through the motions in their career, and then later regret that they didn’t do things. Especially in difficult economic times, I think a lot of people try to play it safe. I just decided that I was willing to take the risk and live with the consequences.

-Bill DeVille: Health Personnel Options

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“The problem with patents is that you have to publish them. The problem with our industry was most of it was in Japan and China where they’re perfectly happy stealing it. We put deep teeth into our employees, our scientists, and our engineers, and then paid them lots of money for those teeth. We did not patent anything.”

-Chris Moffitt – Rubicon Technology

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“You may recognize a problem quickly but act slowly, or vice versa, but the best scenario is to figure out a situation quickly and then act fast. The worst scenario is not recognizing and not doing. Then you’re dead.”

Joel Ronning – Digital River

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“I have been given many opportunities, and I realize any success I may have is more a function of having taken full advantage of those opportunities rather than taking credit for them.”

– Brian Sullivan: Recovery Engineering

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“There tends to be too much emphasis on the business plan. You need to plan and have your strategy written down, but I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs spend too much time doing multiple iterations and minor tweaks on the business plan. Develop a prototype instead of writing a fancy business plan.”

-Phil Soran: Compellent

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“We don’t take a traditional approach to most of the things we do and that’s also true of hiring. I don’t look at resumes, I just talk to the person. It’s more about culture, it’s more about a fit. I’ll take somebody with desire over somebody who has a good pedigree. I’d rather have somebody who’s… young and hungry and who has heart and character.”

– Scott Sheridan: thinkorswim

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“Entrepreneurs can be arrogant bastards and sometimes difficult to work with. The biggest mistake I saw in company founders who were technically trained is they discounted the importance of the sales force: getting very high quality sales people and supporting them. Gadgets don’t sell themselves.”…

– Don Maurer: Empi, Inc.

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“One of the tricks is to have this combination: the ability to be focused, yet flexible and reactive to changing environments. These are opposing but important characteristics, since most start-ups end up selling a product that’s different from what was originally intended.”

– Roland Green: Nimblegen Systems

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“Make sure you empower your employees. You do that by giving them credit, letting them make decisions, and allowing them to make a few mistakes.”

– Thomas Rockwell Mackie: TomoTherapy

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“I don’t believe in a particular industry, and I don’t believe in technology or product. I believe in people. Give me the right horse and I’ll bet on any race.”

– Raj Soin: MTC Technologies

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“If you have to raise money you have to get over the fact that you are not going to control everything. You’d like to, you want to, but you’re not. Do not expect to manage your business on the basis of always having 51 percent of control.”

– Chris Moffitt: Rubicon Technology

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“I still hear people in all walks of life talk about the problems they have, but no one seems to be listening. If they did, they’d hear business opportunities.”

– Jim Dolan: The Dolan Company

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“After developing Mosaic, which became Internet Explorer, I got into transportation. I drove semis and ran my own trucking company. I always get more energy and can focus more on the right problems when I’ve actually tried to do something myself. You go do the job in order to find out the real story.”

-Tim Krauskopf: Spyglass

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