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Strategy Quotes

  • "I discovered … that business was no great mystery. It’s not something like physics or medicine that requires extensive study. You just try to get people to pay you for stuff."
    Paul Graham (1964–), US computer programmer, writer, and venture capitalist
    Source: “How to Start a Startup,” paulgraham.com (March 2005)
  • "Build something users love, and spend less than you make. How hard is that?"
    Paul Graham (1964–), US computer programmer, writer, and venture capitalist
    Source: “How to Start a Startup,” paulgraham.com (March 2005)
  • "At Berkshire, our carefully-crafted acquisition strategy is simply to wait for the phone to ring. Happily, it sometimes does so, usually because a manager who sold to us earlier has recommended to a friend that he think about following suit."
    Warren Buffett (1930–), US entrepreneur and financier
    Source: Chairman’s letter to shareholders, Berkshire Hathaway 1999 Annual Report (March 1, 2000)
  • "Whatever you shoot is dead for a while before it starts to stink. The same goes for strategies. How many organizations carry this dead thing around with them, unaware of its irrelevancy until it is too late?"
    Gary Hamel (1954–), US academic, business writer, and consultant
    Source: Lecture, “Pronking and Surviving in the Age of Gazelles” (October 26, 1999)
  • "There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market."
    Philip Kotler (1931–), US marketing management thinker
    Source: Interview, The Events & Awards Managers of Asia and Hamlin-Iturralde Corporation (1999)
  • "Swing for hits, not home runs."
    Michael Dell (1965–), US founder, CEO, and chairman of Dell, Inc.
    Source: Direct from Dell (1996)
  • "A question that often comes up at times of strategic transformation is, should you pursue a highly focused approach, betting everything on one strategic goal, or should you hedge? … Mark Twain hit it on the head when he said, Put all of your eggs in one basket and WATCH THAT BASKET."
    Andrew S. Grove (1936–), Hungarian-born US entrepreneur, author, and former chairman of Intel Corporation
    Source: Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company and Career (1996), ch. 8
  • "Reengineering: The principal slogan of the Nineties, used to describe any and all corporate strategies."
    Anonymous
    Source: Fortune (February 15, 1995)
  • "The prevailing wisdom is that markets are always right. I take the opposite position. I assume that markets are always wrong."
    George Soros (1930–), Hungarian-born US financier, entrepreneur, and philanthropist
    Source: Soros on Soros (1995)
  • "Strategy is not the consequence of planning but the opposite, its starting point."
    Henry Mintzberg (1939–), Canadian academic and management theorist
    Source: The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (1994)
  • "Strategy-making is an immensely complex process involving the most sophisticated, subtle, and at times subconscious of human cognitive and social processes."
    Henry Mintzberg (1939–), Canadian academic and management theorist
    Source: The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (1994)
  • "Mold-breaking strategies grow initially like weeds, they are not cultivated like tomatoes in a hothouse."
    Henry Mintzberg (1939–), Canadian academic and management theorist
    Source: The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (1994)
  • "We like to believe we can break strategy down to Five Forces or Seven Ss. But you can't. Strategy is extraordinarily emotional and demanding."
    Gary Hamel (1954–), US academic, business writer, and consultant
    Source: Competing for the Future (cowritten with C. K. Prahalad, 1994)
  • "The strategist's method is very simply to challenge the prevailing assumptions with a single question: Why?"
    Kenichi Ohmae (1943–), Japanese management consultant and theorist
    Source: The Mind of the Strategist (1982)
  • "Long-range planning does not deal with future decisions. It deals with the future of present decisions."
    Peter F. Drucker (19092005), US management consultant and academic
    Source: Managing in Turbulent Times (1980)
  • "To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings."
    Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1943–), US management theorist, academic, and writer
    Source: Men and Women of the Corporation (1977)
  • "I buy when other people are selling."
    J. Paul Getty (18921976), US entrepreneur, oil industry executive, and financier
    Source: International Herald Tribune (Paris) (1961)

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