9 Inspirational Quotes for Startups and Small Business by Travis Kalanick

Travis Kalanick Startup QuotesUber is the one-button smartphone applications that will bring the driver of a high-end luxury car or SUV to the curb nearest you. And Travis Kalanick is the stubborn and brilliant UCLA-grad who has kept his startup, Uber, rolling in dozens of cities despite lawsuits and cease-and-desist letters originating from the complaints of taxi companies. Since Kalanick argues Uber is technically a software company, he defends his ride service app by saying it shouldn’t be bound by the same laws and regulations as other ride hail companies. Uber customers are also happy to speak up to defend the service they use (and pay, on average, 1.5 times more for than a ride from a taxi). So, despite the cease-and-desist letters, Kalanick presses on.

With his legendary tenacity, Kalanick is taking Uber into areas beyond rides, though. His investors are interested in the app’s ability to transport anything on a moment’s notice within local boundaries, challenging the likes of other shipping and mailing services and piquing the interest of companies like Amazon and Google.

Perseverance has earned Kalanick mixed results in the past. His first co-founding pursuit was in a peer-to-peer file search engine, similar to Napster. We know how that startup ended. The defeat of Scour seemed to fuel Kalanick’s ego. He took that loss personally and fought for years to make his second venture a $23M success. It wasn’t smooth sailing though. That success only came after fall-outs with colleagues and friends, and going without a paycheck for nearly three years. While Kalanick has reportedly said he has “1000 things more important to do” than giving an interview, we dug up some quotes from the guy who is 3.5 years into what could be his most successful startup yet.

“I got really good at negotiating from a place of weakness.”

“Every time you add complexity to your business model, it just makes it harder for suppliers and your partners to understand it.”

“Jamming on ideas, rapping on what’s next is what entrepreneurs do.”

“Stand by your principles and be comfortable with confrontation. So few people are, so when the people with the red tape come, it becomes a negotiation.”

“At the end of the day you still have to make something people want. You have find a way to produce it. You have to find a way to distribute it.”

“I have a list of the hardest, most challenging problems that our company needs to solve and I start at the top and work my way down. And I have a list of the coolest most fascinating things that we can invent and I start at the top of the list and I work my way down.”

“In a lot of ways, it’s not the money that allows you to do new things. It’s the growth and the ability to find things that people want and to use your creativity to target those.”

“When something’s fun, it’s obvious. That’s when you just need to do more of it.”

“Fear is the disease. Hustle is the antidote… Whatever it is that you’re afraid of, go after it.”

—Travis Kalanick, Founder of Uber

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Logo Design News This Week (4.4)

We’re back for another roundup of news from the world of logo design. Here’s all the news that we noticed this week:

Oslo2022 Logo DesignAs we pointed out last week, the Olympic games is an opportunity to get some attention for your new logo. So its no surprise that the committee organized to bring the winter games to Oslo on 2022 unveiled their logo this week. Composed of the letters from the cities name and the 2022 year, the logo is supposed to be ”urban, close to nature, playful, responsible, ambitious and generous”. We’re not fans. This logo is a disorganized mess. But, if Oslo wins the games, they’ll have another shot a designing a better logo for their games.

Oslo wasn’t the only Olympic related group getting in on the new logo release party. The World Olympians Association unveiled a modernized version of their logo this week as well. This logo is simpler, more modern, and a nice update.

1960 Winter Olympic Logo DesignFast Company writes a bit about the bad design that has accompanied the Olympics for the past forty years or so. Long ago, things weren’t so bad, see for instance the logo for the 1960 winter games held in California (shown here). But more recent logos, like this logo design disaster get no such love.

And, of course, the Olympics brings out a sarcastic logo or two. The wags at Twitchy linked to a new logo for NBC, celebrating the fawning their sportscasters did over Vladimir Putin (from what we saw, the criticism is well-deserved). And a Republican congressman posted a new Olympic-themed logo for Obamacare, playing off the lighting failure at the opening ceremonies.

In response to some recent city logo designs, The New Yorker asks a question that we’ve asked many times: what’s the point of city logos? It’s not that we don’t see the point. We do. We just think their usefulness is limited to a handful of cities with real brands (meaning the city actually represents something unique, like say New York or Paris).

New Amsterdam Logo DesignIronically, just as The New Yorker praised Amersterdam’s logo, the city has paid close to $125,000 for a new logo, which turns out to be the old logo with an extra line break. To be honest, we actually like the new version better, but not at that price. We really like the iconic I Am sterdam campaign that places the logo around the city and shows what the city has to offer.

Brantford Logo DesignOkay, so maybe a city like Amersterdam needs a good logo. But what about a town like Brantford in Canada. Is spending $78,000 on a new logo a good investment? This week the city council traded in the old logo, designed 14 years ago, on a new model and the town isn’t happy about the result. So, they’ve put the project on hold. Ironically, something similar happened last time they replaced the logo. Like it or hate it, aside from a few people living in Brantford, no one is going to see it. So, unless your citizens hate their existing logo, it’s probably not worth the time, effort, or money to design a new logo for you town or city. There’s very little bang for the buck.

And while this logo redesign for Bologna probably won’t bring in more tourists, it is beautiful and nicely designed. But if it works for Amersterdam, Bologna, and Brantford, maybe it will work for Libya.

Leeds Cycling Logo DesignOne more: this time a logo to support cycling in Leeds, introduced ahead of the Tour de France which will be making a stop in Northern England this year. Featuring a silhouette of the city’s skyline and a familiar Tour cyclist on a bike made up of the city’s name, this logo does a good job of representing the idea, even if it is a bit predictable. We like it. And, it nicely combines city branding (our previous item) with sports logos (our next item). See what we did there?

 

New Atlanta Hawks Logo DesignWe saw a couple of sports logo related items this week. First, is this the new Atlanta Hawks logo? If so, fans appear to like it. Rumor has it, this new logo may have leaked thanks to its inclusion in a new video game.

And are the Denver Broncos considering a new logo design? That’s the word after Denver got destroyed in the last Superbowl. Apparently orange is out. We’ll have to wait to see what is in. It looks like Nike will be heavily involved in the new design (a la Oregon).

 

One last item. Last week we showed you our vote for the worst logo of the year—a new logo for a cathedral on the Isle of Man. Here’s a better example of how to do a rebrand of your cathedral. This one may be more traditional, but at least we know what it is.

Google Valentine Logo DesignWe end this week’s update with a link to Google’s valentine’s day logo, which allows you to create a box of custom-designed chocolates for your loved one. Here’s our logo, mid game. Check it out on Google today.

Did we miss anything?

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How to Start A Business — Three Awesome, Free Resources

Free Start a Business ResourcesStarting your own business isn’t exactly cheap. So it’s nice to find a few resources that will help you start and grow your new venture that won’t cost you a penny. Check out these awesome resources that will help you startup and run your new business. Best of all, they are, as promised, completely free.

 

How To Build a Startup (Udemy). 
This free course is taught by Steve Blank, a well-known Sillicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He launched eight different companies, failing occasionally, but succeeding spectacularly. He is the author of two excellent books on entrepreneurship: The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Startup Owner’s Manual, both of which should be required reading for anyone wanting to start their own small business. That’s the long way of saying, he knows how to start a business.

These days Professor Blank teaches at business schools at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia. You could pay thousands of dollars at these schools to hear what he has to share. Or you can sign up for this free online course and learn about business models and customer development, developing a minimal viable product, product market fit, revenue models, finding partners, and much more.

Perhaps best of all, this course is self-paced. You watch the presentations on your own time. And if you make the effort to do the exercises, you’ll be ready to launch your new business when you finish the course. This may be the best startup resource available anywhere online. Seriously—check it out.

MicroConf Session Videos
MicroConf is a small conference focused on micro-preneurs and single-founder startups. If you are trying to build and bootstrap an online business, these are your people. The conference is limited to a few hundred attendees and for the past three years has sold out in a matter of hours. It’s hard to get in, but it’s not difficult to hear what is shared at the conference. The conference presenters have posted videos of the conference sessions from the past two years online. The presenters include Hiten Shah, Patrick McKenzie, Josh Kaufman, Joanna Wiebe, and more. These are entrepreneurs who have built their own successful companies (both small and large). And what they share (about SEO, copywriting, attracting customers, finding products customers want to buy, and more) is valuable to anyone running their own small business. Check out the videos from 2012 here. The sessions from 2013 are here.

Startup Nation, Startup Smart, or Another Online Community
Just because you are a single founder, doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Joining an online community gives you access to other founders working on similar problems. This is a place where you can ask questions, share challenges, and simply find inspiration. You might choose to join a mastermind group, or simply read the how-to articles found on the sight. There are dozens of online communities providing these services for free (or almost free). Find one that works for you and take advantage of everything they have to offer. Startup Nation is here. Startup Smart (based in Australia) is here.

 

Photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

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11 Inspirational Quotes for Startups from Josh James, Founder of Omniture and Domo

Josh James Startup QuotesHis self-described Twitter bio (@joshjames) says it all: “Josh James: Domo Founder/CEO. Ominture CEO & Co-founder—inception to IPO. Sold for $1.8B. 6 daughters. ONE lovely wife. BYU.”

As noted, James’ first great success was Omniture, the Web analytics and marketing software built to track Web traffic for companies like Toyota, Gap, and JetBlue. He dropped out of college a month before graduation because he realized that every hour he was sitting in class, he was losing $125 (the price he was charging people to build web pages). Omniture grew and James took the company public in 2006 on his 33rd birthday, eventually agreeing to be purchased by Adobe for $1.8 billion.

James actually maintains his own site of rules for startups for entrepreneurs. Here are some of his rules and other quotes from the startup mogul, Josh James:

 “There were times when I lay down on the floor at night, close to crying, and said, ‘I’m done. I can’t make payroll.’ Then my wife would come over and kick me and say, ‘Get up and figure it out.’”

“I make mistakes faster than anybody. I think, go, do.”

“Customers first! In every way. [We] had 100% retention of customers at Omniture for five years.“

“When it isn’t blatantly clear where you should focus, the answer is immerse yourself in sales. It has all the answers.”

“Don’t spend startup money on anything until you have to, but when the time comes, don’t be chintzy.”

“Competitors are trying to take food from your family and your team’s families. Treat accordingly.”

“If running a tech startup, don’t get old and rusty. Each year in age is a liability. Keep curiosity for new and different.”

“Don’t waste time on private to private acquisitions. Too much talk. Too hard to value. Build your own business and dominate later.”

“Sometimes your success was in spite of what you did, not because of it.”

“Nothing is more motivating and nothing pisses me off more than people who doubt me.”

“I don’t care what religion you are. I don’t care what color you are. I don’t care what sex you are. All I care about is that you close deals. And that you’re a good person.”

—Josh James, Founder of Omniture and Domo

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Logo Design News This Week (4.3)

Posting has been light the past few weeks as we relocated (at least temporarily) to France. Now that we’re settled, it’s time to catch up on what’s been happening in the world of logo design over the past few weeks. Here’s the news that caught our eye:

San Jose Earthquakes Logo DesignThe Superbowl was last Sunday, so let’s start with some football. The other kind. The San Jose Earthquakes unveiled a new logo this past week with a big party. The new logo is a nice update of the old logo. Some of the design elements (even beyond the logo) hark back to the original Quakes teams that began playing 40 years ago. Here’s more from the agency that did the work. The club also introduced a red secondary jersey. And there’s a pretty cool launch video here. Definitely watch that video which includes more goals that you’ll see in a entire season (we jest soccer fans).

 

New York City is going to get Major League Soccer’s 20th franchise, and this week they tweeted an empty shield and an open invitation to design the new logo (though not for real, we suspect). The results have been amusing. To say the least.

Raiders Hipster Logo DesignBack to that other kind of football. In a mention of the Superbowl, we saw a link to this group of NFL logos if they were hipsters. The Raiders logo will give any Raiders fans (yes, there are still a few around) a heart attack. But we like it. The Cardinals logo is also good. Check out the whole gallery.

And, actually related to the big game, we think this woman may live to regret her tattoo (though not while the parades are still going on). Smartly, most of the logo appears to be under her hairline.

And in baseball logo news, the Wilmington Sharks have a new logo!

Just in time for Valentine’s Day: Cupid’s brand standards. Fun, but maybe not that funny.

Cathedral isle of Man Logo DesignThis is just plain awful. The Cathedral of the Isle of Man unveiled a new logo and we don’t have anything nice to say about it. If you look hard you can see a fish (sign of christianity) and a G, for St. German (apparently the name of the Cathedral before the logo update). But what a mess. In our design agency days we occasionally heard angry clients say that their eight-year-old child could design a better logo than the one we had recommended. In this case, they would be right. We have a hard time seeing how this represents the church (the building or the people) in a meaningful way. It gets our vote for the worst logo of the year so far.

Fiat finalized its acquisition of Chrysler and celebrated with a new, boring, corporate logo.

AIS Logo DesignWhen the story in the papers about your new logo focuses on how much you paid, rather than the look of the logo or the fan’s reaction, you may have paid too much. The Australian Institute of Sports in spending a lot of time explaining the $500,000 cost of their new logo ($300,000 for the design portion of the project). We agree they spent way too much, but they got a pretty good logo—five gold line in the shape of Australia. Of course, if a less expensive logo is what you are looking for, we recommend us. Rest assured, athletes will be the real winners.

 

Sochi Dog Logo Design

With the start of the Olympics, we’ve seen a few Olympic themed logos worth pointing to. First with the news that Sochi officials were rounding up stray dogs to euthanize, we link to this story and logo that puts a stray dog in the Olympic cross hairs. Shame on you Sochi. And here’s a bit about the Sochi logo from The New Yorker. (We’ve mentioned before that we had a backseat watching the development of the 2002 Winter Olympic logo design, so this kind of write-up catches our interest.)

 

Google Rainbow Olymic Logo DesignAnd while we’re writing about Olympic logos… Google isn’t above making a political statement with their logo every now and then, and today’s logo, celebrating the start of the winter Olympics is a case in point. The logo features a rainbow flag behind several icons of athletes participating in winter sports. A text block, pulled from the Olympic charter completes the statement—all in support of gay athletes and against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Take that Vladimir!

Did we miss anything? Let us know.

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The Best Reason to Start Your Own Small Business—Location Independence

Location Independence MapAsk a small business owner why they started their own business and you’re likely to hear back something like, “I wanted to call the shots, to be more independent, and to have more control over my time, or to work from anywhere.”

Often, it doesn’t quite work out that way. Being the boss can be more stressful than being the employee. You’re responsible for bringing in revenue. Making sure the right things get done. And that independence you were hoping for? Not so much.

But a growing number of startup owners have figured out how to run a startup and take control of their time—and do it from anywhere in the world.

They are truly location and time independent.

These “digital nomads” point to inspiration from books like The Four Hour Work Week and Start Small, Stay Small. They subscribe to the ideas taught by guys like Dan and Ian at The Tropical MBA as well as Rob and Mike at Startups for the Rest of Us, and of course, Tim Ferris (Four Hour Work Week).

There’s something very enticing about the ideas they teach—that you can start a small business without a lot of startup capital or even a partner and do it from anywhere in the world.

The first time I read Ferriss’ book, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could put his ideas into action.

Not all jobs or business ideas can be done from anywhere in the world (a good thing for those who like to live and work in one place). If being on the partner track at a white-shoe law firm is your idea of a meaningful career, you’re likely to be tied to a specific city and office. The same is true for dozens of other jobs tied to a specific place.

But for designers, programmers, event planners, writers, and other creative professionals, there’s almost no reason you can’t do what you do from a balcony overlooking a Roman Piazza or from a Starbucks in Cebu, Philippines.

But how to get started?

1. You need a portable skill set. If you can do your job from your laptop, it’s at least theoretically possible to do it from anywhere in the world. If you’re tied to a lab or desk, it will be much more difficult (though maybe not impossible).

2. You need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to grow up, go to school, and spend an entire career working in a single city or state. It’s harder to move away from friends and family to spend your days working in Mexico City or Singapore or both. (In fact, many of your friends and family will tell you that you’re crazy to try.)

3. You need to be flexible. Working with other people across time zones (and around the world) may mean a conference call late at night, or very early in the morning. Emails may not be answered for ten or twelve hours. Deliveries can take days. Finding an Internet connection won’t always be easy. Being able to figure out a way around the small inconveniences you’re likely to encounter wherever you find yourself is an essential skill.

4. You’ll likely need an online platform. Unless your rolodex is already full of paying clients, you’ll need a place online where customers can find and pay you. Your platform may be product-based (like Logomaker) or service based. You may be able to find work at online portals like Odesk or Guru.com. Or, if you really want to control your future, build your own (which will take time and effort), but if you’re successful, will be totally worth it.

5. You’ll need to learn new skills. Once you have your business idea, you’ll need to build and promote your product or service. That may take programming or project management skills. You may need to learn how to wireframe. You’ll almost certainly have to improve your sales and marketing skills—everything from social media and SEO to cold calling and affiliate marketing. When you’re starting out, you may need to do everything.

6. You need friends and associates who think the same way about work. This starts with reading the books and blogs and listening to the podcasts listed above. But it may also mean joining a mastermind group, attending online classes, or attending a conference or seminar for like-minded entrepreneurs.

So are you ready to give it a try?

I am. I’ve moved my family to France for a trial run at location independence. I don’t speak French, so we’ll see how it goes. If you’re on a similar path, let us know. We’d like to hear more about your experiences.

Photo credit: spaceyjessie via photopin cc

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5 Inspiring Quotes for Startups and Small Business from William Ready, CEO at Braintree

William Ready Startup QuotesWilliam Ready has broad roots that extend from being a collegiate valedictorian, to working in Silicon Valley, to graduating from Harvard Business School. His expansive background led him to Braintree after having spent valuable time in the payment services industry. Throughout his various ventures, he came to discover he preferred “early phase” business and has focused his energy on startups. Braintree’s founder, Bryan Johnson, named Ready as Braintree’s CEO in September of 2011 while Johnson settled in as the company’s Chairman.

Ready made quick impact as CEO, successfully leading the acquisition of Venmo, a new consumer payment feature for Braintree. The acquisition boosted Braintree’s functionality by extending services to consumers so that they could make payments on mobile devices. Under Ready’s leadership, Braintree’s goal is to be the best of its kind in the payment industry. Ready puts it this way: “The company is disrupting the payments industry by providing elegant tools for developers, coupled with white-glove support.” Braintree supports businesses of all sizes, eliminating the need for small business owners to move payment platforms due to growth at the risk of getting buried by larger corporations who dominate the field in competing payment systems.

Ready has been helping Braintree reach its status as the fastest growing payment platform for online and mobile businesses. It operates internationally in over 30 countries, and accepts payments in over 130 currencies. It processes over $12 billion annually. Here is what he has to say about startups and success:

“I had been scrappy and resourceful, and these traits had helped me succeed.”

“The analytics alone are not enough to be successful—you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves to build a great business.”

“A bootstrapping mentality, coupled with resources and a great partner are like having an entrepreneurial spirit coupled with the rigor of [my] training.”

“You need to make sure you’re passionate about the opportunity—if you can’t sleep at night because you’re not pursuing it, that’s when to take the plunge.”

“If you have conviction about what you’re doing, it makes it easier to weather the ups and downs.”

-Bill Ready, CEO of Braintree

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8 Inspiring Quotes for Startups and Small Business by Stephen Neeleman

Steve Neeleman Startup Quotes

Dr. Stephen Neeleman is a rare breed of entrepreneur. When he’s not busy managing his company of 300 employees, he’s elbows-deep in the operating room, holding a scalpel as a trauma surgeon. Yeah, that kind of doctor.

You may be thinking, “How and why would a successful, practicing surgeon turn to a small business startup?” But if you ask Dr. Neeleman, he’ll tell you he was driven by the desire to make a difference in the lives of his patients—not only as their physician, but to help them see the reality behind the cost of healthcare. He became an avid promoter of consumer-driven healthcare. To put it simply, his goal was to help Americans learn to shop for value when it comes to doctors, treatments, hospitals, prescriptions, and anything else health related.

Dr. Neeleman founded HealthEquity in 2002 and published The Complete HSA Guidebook (now in its 6th edition) to help people learn how to obtain quality health insurance in a financially savvy way. Today, his company provides education and practical resources to people who want to save money for health expenses in a triple tax-advantaged account. People are now literally building health equity for themselves and their families.

His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. As a 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Dr. Neeleman was recognized as demonstrating “extraordinary success” in the areas of innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to his businesses and community. Without further ado, here are some things he has to say about starting a small business and watching it grow into a billion dollar company:

“I recommend a great book called Purple Cow by Seth Godin. If you want to be well-accepted in any community—specifically the business community—you need to do some things that are remarkable.”

“America has a great legacy of coming up with solutions to very complex problems. It’s a combination of good government regulations that allow for businesses to compete fairly, but then also, it’s the private enterprise that really drives the creativity.”

“Nobody spends other people’s money as well as they spend their own.”

“It is critically important for all companies to have a mission statement. Your mission statement is your company’s emotional fuel.”

“One of the rules I learned early on in starting a business, and which I’ve found to be very true, is the Rule 24: All new businesses take 2 times as long and cost 4 times as much to get them going than what you initially anticipated!”

“Nothing in business happens until someone sells something to someone else.”

“A large part of HealthEquity’s success over the years is attributable to the lessons learned from an article called the Constant Customer from the Gallup Management Journal.  We have incorporated the principles of: 1) Flawless execution; 2) Grooming all team members to be ambassadors of our brand; and 3) Immediate service recovery into the DNA of our business.  This has led to much of our success.”

“Starting a business and growing it to a successful enterprise can be very difficult.  You have to put up with a lot of criticism.  A quote I have reflected on many times over the years is from a speech Theodore Roosevelt gave in Paris in 1910: ‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’”

-Stephen D. Neeleman, MD, Founder & CEO of HealthEquity

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7 Inspiring Quotes for your Startup from Kevin Systrom of Instagram

Kevin-Systrom-Startup-QuotesAs co-founder of the photo-sharing service, Instagram, it’s not surprising that Kevin Systrom’s background is littered with software engineering experience. Before being listed as one of Fortune’s “40-under-40”, he had already brushed arms with some of the most prominent internet ventures of the last 10 years. He turned down an opportunity to work with Mark Zuckerberg during the early days of Facebook, was an intern at the company that became Twitter, and spent some time behind the walls of Google helping to develop some of their trademark products, like Gmail.

It was perhaps only a matter of time.

Systrom’s startup model for Instagram was simple: a constrained, mobile-first picture app. His idea would eventually take him full circle as Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1B. The Stanford alum has this to say about entrepreneurialsm:

“If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.”

“Great products sell themselves.”

“Every startup should address a real and demonstrated need in the world. If you build a solution to a problem lots of people have, it’s so easy to sell your product to the world.”

“Most of the companies I interact with worry more about getting something that works with consumers, because if you don’t get consumers no one will want to advertise with you. If we were to just build a product for advertisers we would have no consumers.”

“I think not focusing on money makes you sane because in the long run it can probably drive you crazy.”

“When people say that college isn’t worthwhile and paying all this money isn’t worthwhile, I really disagree. I think those experiences and those classes that may not necessarily seem applicable in the moment end up coming back to you time and time again.”

“I’m always in awe of people who are artists in their fields – people who understand that simply by taking ideas and translating them into reality, they’ve created value in the world.”

-Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram

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9 Inspirational Quotes For Small Business And Startups From Jimmy Wales, Founder Of Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales Startup QuotesWe’ve all used Wikipedia, and we have Jimmy Wales to thank for it. Wales was an internet junkie from the beginning, but at first, he took the practical route and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance. It was while working at a futures and options trading firm in Chicago that he decided to quit his job and follow his true passion as an internet entrepreneur.

Wales’ first entrepreneurial startup was with the ultimately failing company, Bomis, a web portal that Wales described as a male-oriented search engine. Using the minimal funds from the unsuccessful venture, Wales focused on his vision of building an online encyclopedia. Initially, this concept was called Nupedia, but the model for building that particular network of knowledge was cumbersome to the collaborators when trying to getting the information through a bottle-neck of quality checks.

In order to succeed, Wales needed to adjust the model, loosen the reigns, and broaden the network so that the encyclopedia startup could truly become a collection of public knowledge and collaboration. He told Slashdot in 2004: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.” Here are some more tidbits of advice and insights from Jimmy Wales:

 “You play for high stakes when you decide to start your own business. Whenever you can, you should cheat to turn the game your way: Grow up more slowly. Stay in school, show up at class, take the full book of final exams. Hang out late at night in the lab with the rest of the crew. Then, go get a job for a regular company. Watch and learn.”

“The real struggle is not between the right and the left but between the party of the thoughtful and the party of the jerks.”

“Simply having rules does not change the things that people want to do. You have to change incentives.”

 “Dialing down is not an option for me.”

“I think people don’t mind commerce, they don’t mind capitalism, they just want a fair playing field and if you are successful, then good for you.”

“Love. It isn’t very popular in technical circles to say a lot of mushy stuff about love, but frankly it’s a very very important part of what holds our project together.”

“There’s a big tendency to gravitate toward a closed and proprietary approach too easily.”

“All of us in Silicon Valley—business people, investors, reporters, but especially impatient young entrepreneurs—fetishize start-ups today. We obsess about technology and products. We tell the Steve Jobs story, the Mark Zuckerberg story, the Bill Gates story, over and over again. We forget about Tim Cook and Sheryl Sandberg and Paul Allen. We look at success and see only the short half of the picture.”

“How can we in the tech community make sure that unusual success at a very early age is not mistakenly thought to be the norm?”

—Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia

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