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date: 27 May 2024


  1. I liked it so much, I bought the company!
    Advertising slogan: Remington Shavers, 1980; spoken by the company's new owner Victor Kiam (1926–2001)
  2. The common question that gets asked in business is, why? That's a good question, but an equally valid question is, why not?
    Jeff Bezos 1964–  American businessman: in Wired 13 November 2011
  3. A merchant shall hardly keep himself from doing wrong.
    The Bible (Authorized Version, 1611): Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha) ch. 26, v. 29
  4. Boss your boss just as soon as you can; try it on early. There is nothing he will like so well if he is the right kind of boss; if he is not, he is not the man for you to remain with.
    Andrew Carnegie 1835–1919 American industrialist and philanthropist: The Empire of Business (1902)
  5. Here's the rule for bargains: ‘Do other men, for they would do you.’
    Jonas Chuzzlewit
    Charles Dickens 1812–70 English novelist: Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) ch. 11
  6. The Continent will [not] suffer England to be the workshop of the world.
    Benjamin Disraeli 1804–81 British Tory statesman and novelist; Prime Minister 1868, 1874–80: speech, House of Commons, 15 March 1838
  7. Knowledge is the only meaningful resource today. The traditional ‘factors of production’—land (i.e. natural resources), labour and capital—have not disappeared. But they have become secondary.
    Peter F. Drucker 1909–2005 Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and writer: Post-Capitalist Society (1993)
  8. If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.
    B. C. Forbes 1880–1954 Scottish-born American journalist and publisher: Finance, Business and the Business of Life (1915)
  9. The salary of the chief executive of the large corporation is not a market reward for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.
    J. K. Galbraith 1908–2006 Canadian-born American economist: Annals of an Abiding Liberal (1979)
  10. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
    Bill Gates 1955–  American computer entrepreneur: Business @ the Speed of Thought (1999)
  11. mr burns: I'll keep it short and sweet. Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.
    Matt Groening 1954–  American humorist and satirist: The Simpsons ‘The Old Man and the Lisa’ (1997) written by John Swartzwelder
  12. Only the paranoid survive.
    dictum on which he has long run his company, the Intel Corporation
    Andrew Grove 1936–2016 Hungarian-born American businessman: in New York Times 18 December 1994
  13. Accountants are the witch-doctors of the modern world and willing to turn their hands to any kind of magic.
    Charles Eustace Harman 1894–1970 British judge: speech, February 1964
  14. I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man.
    Jay‐Z 1969–  American rapper and businessman: Kanye West ‘Diamonds from Sierra Leone’ (2005 song featuring Jay-Z)
  15. Only a fool holds out for the top dollar.
    selling stock before the Wall Street crash of 1929
    Joseph P. Kennedy 1888–1969 American financier and diplomat: Richard J. Whalen The Founding Father: the story of Joseph P. Kennedy (1964)
  16. The green shoots of economic spring are appearing once again.
    often misquoted as, ‘the green shoots of recovery’
    Norman Lamont 1942–  British Conservative politician: speech at Conservative Party Conference, 9 October 1991
  17. Doing well by doing good.
    later the slogan of Monsanto
    Tom Lehrer 1928–  American humorist: ‘The Old Dope Peddler’ (1953 song)
  18. Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon.
    Peter Lynch 1944–  American investor: Beating the Street (1992)
  19. How to succeed in business without really trying.
    Shepherd Mead 1914–94 American advertising executive: title of book (1952)
  20. For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life…He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that's an earthquake…A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.
    Arthur Miller 1915–2005 American dramatist: Death of a Salesman (1949) ‘Requiem’
  21. After a certain point money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts.
    Aristotle Onassis 1906–75 Greek shipping magnate and international businessman: attributed, perhaps apocryphal
  22. When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
    P. J. O'Rourke 1947–  American humorous writer: Parliament of Whores (1991)
  23. We even sell a pair of earrings for under £1, which is cheaper than a prawn sandwich from Marks & Spencers. But I have to say the earrings probably won't last as long.
    Gerald Ratner 1949–  English businessman: speech to the Institute of Directors, Albert Hall, 23 April 1991
  24. The customer is never wrong.
    César Ritz 1850–1918 Swiss hotel proprietor: R. Nevill and C. E. Jerningham Piccadilly to Pall Mall (1908)
  25. A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.
    John D. Rockefeller 1839–1937 American industrialist and philanthropist: Random Reminiscences of Men and Events (1909)
  26. The most striking thing about modern industry is that it requires so much and accomplishes so little. Modern industry seems to be inefficient to a degree that surpasses one's ordinary powers of imagination. Its inefficiency therefore remains unnoticed.
    E. F. Schumacher 1911–77 German-born economist: Small is Beautiful (1973) pt. 2, ch. 3
  27. People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
    Adam Smith 1723–90 Scottish philosopher and economist: Wealth of Nations (1776) bk. 1, ch. 10, pt. 2
  28. To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers, may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers.
    Adam Smith 1723–90 Scottish philosopher and economist: Wealth of Nations (1776) bk. 4, ch. 7, pt. 3; see Adams, Napoleon I
  29. I love the smell of commerce in the morning.
    Kevin Smith 1970–  American screenwriter and director: Mallrats (1995 film), spoken by Jason Lee
  30. Corporations have neither bodies to be punished, nor souls to be condemned, they therefore do as they like.
    usually quoted as ‘Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked?’
    Edward, Lord Thurlow 1731–1806 English jurist: John Poynder Literary Extracts (1844) vol. 1; see Coke
  31. Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That's how I get my kicks.
    Donald Trump 1946–  American businessman and Republican politician: Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz The Art of the Deal (1987)
  32. The public be damned!
    on whether the public should be consulted about luxury trains; sometimes reported as ‘The public be damned! I'm working for my stockholders’
    William Henry Vanderbilt 1821–85 American railway magnate: letter from A. W. Cole to New York Times 25 August 1918
  33. There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.
    Sam Walton 1919–92 American businessman: Sam Walton: Made in America, My Story, with J. Huey (1990)
  34. Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.
    Andy Warhol 1927–87 American artist: Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) (1975)
  35. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You build a factory out there, good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for…You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea, God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
    Elizabeth Warren 1949–  American Democratic politician: speech in Andover, Massachusetts, September 2011
  36. You cannot be a success in any business without believing that it is the greatest business in the world…You have to put your heart in the business and the business in your heart.
    Thomas Watson Snr. 1874–1956 American businessman: Robert Sobel IBM: Colossus in Transition (1981)
  37. For years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa. The difference did not exist. Our company is too big. It goes with the welfare of the country.
    Charles E. Wilson 1890–1961 American industrialist: testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on his proposed nomination for Secretary of Defence, 15 January 1953
  38. Nothing is illegal if one hundred well-placed business men decide to do it.
    Andrew Young 1932–  American clergyman and diplomat: Morris K. Udall Too Funny to be President (1988)