- I liked it so much, I bought the company!: Remington Shavers, 1980; spoken by the company's new owner Victor Kiam (1926–2001)
- The common question that gets asked in business is, why? That's a good question, but an equally valid question is, why not?
Wired 13 November 2011 1964– American businessman: in
- A merchant shall hardly keep himself from doing wrong.
: Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha) ch. 26, v. 29
- 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.
The Empire of Business (1902) 1835–1919 American industrialist and philanthropist:
- Here's the rule for bargains: ‘Do other men, for they would do you.’
Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) ch. 11 1812–70 English novelist:
- The Continent will [not] suffer England to be the workshop of the world. 1804–81 British Tory statesman and novelist; Prime Minister 1868, 1874–80: speech, House of Commons, 15 March 1838
- 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.
Post-Capitalist Society (1993) 1909–2005 Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and writer:
- If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.
Finance, Business and the Business of Life (1915) 1880–1954 Scottish-born American journalist and publisher:
- 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.
Annals of an Abiding Liberal (1979) 1908–2006 Canadian-born American economist:
- Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
Business @ the Speed of Thought (1999) 1955– American computer entrepreneur:
- 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.
The Simpsons ‘The Old Man and the Lisa’ (1997) written by John Swartzwelder 1954– American humorist and satirist:
- Only the paranoid survive.
dictum on which he has long run his company, the Intel Corporation
New York Times 18 December 1994 1936–2016 Hungarian-born American businessman: in
- Accountants are the witch-doctors of the modern world and willing to turn their hands to any kind of magic. 1894–1970 British judge: speech, February 1964
- I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man. 1969– American rapper and businessman: Kanye West ‘Diamonds from Sierra Leone’ (2005 song featuring Jay-Z)
- Only a fool holds out for the top dollar.
selling stock before the Wall Street crash of 1929
The Founding Father: the story of Joseph P. Kennedy (1964) 1888–1969 American financier and diplomat: Richard J. Whalen
- The green shoots of economic spring are appearing once again.
often misquoted as, ‘the green shoots of recovery’ 1942– British Conservative politician: speech at Conservative Party Conference, 9 October 1991
- Doing well by doing good.
later the slogan of Monsanto 1928– American humorist: ‘The Old Dope Peddler’ (1953 song)
- Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon.
Beating the Street (1992) 1944– American investor:
- How to succeed in business without really trying. 1914–94 American advertising executive: title of book (1952)
- 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.
Death of a Salesman (1949) ‘Requiem’ 1915–2005 American dramatist:
- After a certain point money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts. 1906–75 Greek shipping magnate and international businessman: attributed, perhaps apocryphal
- When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
Parliament of Whores (1991) 1947– American humorous writer:
- 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. 1949– English businessman: speech to the Institute of Directors, Albert Hall, 23 April 1991
- The customer is never wrong.
Piccadilly to Pall Mall (1908) 1850–1918 Swiss hotel proprietor: R. Nevill and C. E. Jerningham
- A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.
Random Reminiscences of Men and Events (1909) 1839–1937 American industrialist and philanthropist:
- 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.
Small is Beautiful (1973) pt. 2, ch. 3 1911–77 German-born economist:
- 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.
Wealth of Nations (1776) bk. 1, ch. 10, pt. 2 1723–90 Scottish philosopher and economist:
- 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.
Wealth of Nations (1776) bk. 4, ch. 7, pt. 3; see Adams, Napoleon I 1723–90 Scottish philosopher and economist:
- I love the smell of commerce in the morning.
Mallrats (1995 film), spoken by Jason Lee 1970– American screenwriter and director:
- 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?’
Literary Extracts (1844) vol. 1; see Coke 1731–1806 English jurist: John Poynder
- 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.
The Art of the Deal (1987) 1946– American businessman and Republican politician: Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz
- 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’
New York Times 25 August 1918 1821–85 American railway magnate: letter from A. W. Cole to
- 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: Made in America, My Story, with J. Huey (1990) 1919–92 American businessman:
- Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.
Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) (1975) 1927–87 American artist:
- 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. 1949– American Democratic politician: speech in Andover, Massachusetts, September 2011
- 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.
IBM: Colossus in Transition (1981) 1874–1956 American businessman: Robert Sobel
- 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. 1890–1961 American industrialist: testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on his proposed nomination for Secretary of Defence, 15 January 1953
- Nothing is illegal if one hundred well-placed business men decide to do it.
Too Funny to be President (1988) 1932– American clergyman and diplomat: Morris K. Udall