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Ideas Quotes

  • "Obvious almost always isn’t. With the sheer number of different world views people have these days one person’s obvious is another person’s revelation."
    Joshua Porter, US software designer and author
    Source: Bokardo blog (August 1, 2012)
  • "To have a few good ideas, you need to have a hell of a lot of awful ideas."
    Michael Acton Smith (1974–), British entrepreneur, founder of Firebox and founder and CEO of Mind Candy
    Source: Independent (London) (April 19, 2012)
  • "To be creative, what we’re looking for is not one idea but dozens of ideas—some good, some average and some rubbish. We need to go through the wrong stuff to get to the right stuff. So no matter how wild and wacky an idea is, we need to learn to suspend judgement and get it to the table."
    Michael Dunn, British business psychologist
    Source: Quoted in the Independent (London) (October 26, 2010)
  • "The most reckless and treacherous of all theorists is he who professes to let facts and figures speak for themselves."
    Alfred Marshall (18421924), British economist
    Source: Quoted in the Independent (London) (November 20, 2009)
  • "What matters is not ideas, but the people who have them. Good people can fix bad ideas, but good ideas can’t save bad people."
    Paul Graham (1964–), US computer programmer, writer, and venture capitalist
    Source: “How to Start a Startup,” (March 2005)
  • "The newness of an idea matters less than its ease of use."
    Mari Matsunaga (1954–), Japanese IT designer
    Source: Fortune (October 2000)
  • "Unlike a straight academic career, you end up fully recognizing that hypotheses matter, that actions matter, and the ideas that you come up with matter."
    Alan Greenspan (1926–), US economist, former chairman of Federal Reserve
    Source: Speech accepting appointment to fourth term as US Federal Reserve chairman, Washington, DC (January 4, 2000)
  • "Sometimes the first step is the hardest: coming up with an idea. Coming up with an idea should be like sitting on a pin—it should make you jump up and do something."
    Kemmons Wilson (19132003), US entrepreneur and founder of Holiday Inn
    Source: “What Makes for Success?” Imprimis (March 1997)
  • "After the idea, there is plenty of time to learn the technology."
    Sir James Dyson (1947–), British designer and entrepreneur
    Source: Against the Odds (1997)
  • "Owning the intellectual property is like owning land: You need to keep investing in it again and again to get a payoff; you can't simply sit back and collect rent."
    Esther Dyson (1951–), US knowledge entrepreneur and government adviser
    Source: Release 1.0 (1994)
  • "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
    John Cage (19121992), US composer
    Source: Quoted in Conversing with Cage (1988)
  • "Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."
    Howard Aiken (19001973), US computer engineer and mathematician
    Source: Quoted in Portraits in Silicon (Robert Slater, 1987)
  • "Unless your ideas are ridiculed by experts, they are worth nothing."
    Reg Revans (19072003), British academic
    Source: Action Learning (1979)
  • "Never dump a good idea on a conference table. It will belong to the conference."
    Jane Trahey (19232000), US copywriter and author
    Source: New York Times (September 18, 1977)
  • "We haven't got the money, so we've got to think."
    Ernest, Lord Rutherford (18711937), New Zealand-born British physicist
    Source: Bulletin of the Institute of Physics (1962)
  • "It is a far, far better thing to have firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought."
    J. K. Galbraith (19082006), US economist and diplomat
    Source: The Affluent Society (1958)
  • "Ours is the age of substitutes; instead of language, we have jargon; instead of principles, slogans; and, instead of genuine ideas, bright ideas."
    Eric Bentley (1916–), British writer
    Source: New Republic (Washington, DC) (December 1952)
  • "There is nothing so practical as a good theory."
    Kurt Lewin (18901947), US author
    Source: Field Theory in Social Science: Selected Theoretical Papers (D. Cartwright, ed, 1951)
  • "The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."
    Sir Winston Churchill (18741965), British prime minister
    Source: Speech (September 1943)
  • "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you only have one idea."
    Émile-August Chartier (18681951), French philosopher
    Source: Propos sur la Religion (1938)
  • "For an idea ever to be fashionable is ominous, since it must afterwards always be old-fashioned."
    George Santayana (18631952), US philosopher, novelist, and poet
    Source: Winds of Doctrine (1913)
  • "If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it."
    Thomas Mann (18751955), German writer
    Source: Death in Venice (1913)
  • "It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions."
    Thomas Huxley (18251895), British biologist
    Source: Science and Culture (1887)
  • "One of the greatest pains to a human being is the pain of a new idea."
    Walter Bagehot (18261877), British economist and journalist
    Source: Physics and Politics (1872)
  • "Every now and then a man's mind is stretched by a new idea and never shrinks back to its original dimensions."
    Oliver Wendell Holmes (18091894), US surgeon, teacher, and writer
    Source: The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (1858)
  • "The ancestor of every action is a thought."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882), US essayist, lecturer, and poet
    Source: Essays (1841)
  • "It is as absurd to argue men, as to torture them into believing."
    John Henry Newman (18011890), British theologian
    Source: Sermon (December 1831)
  • "When an idea is not robust enough to stand expression in simple terms, it is a sign that it should be rejected."
    Luc de Clapiers Vauvenargues (17151747), French soldier and writer
    Source: Reflections and Maxims (1746)
  • "It's not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas."
    Edwin Land (19091991), US inventor and founder of Polaroid Corporation
    Source: Attributed

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