Quote of the week

“We basically have two bankrupt parties bankrupting the country. With all the vested interests that have accrued around these two parties, they cannot think about the overall public good and the longer term anymore because both parties are trapped in short-term, zero-sum calculations.”

–Larry Diamond, Stanford University, in today’s NY Times Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman

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Quote of the week

“I am a huge bull on this country. We will not have a double-dip recession at all. I see our businesses coming back almost across the board.”

Warren Buffett, at the Montana Economic Development Summit on Sept. 13

Quote of the week

“One of the things you obviously do is you have to destroy this notion that it’s okay to trade against your customers. Maybe what you say is you can be a firm like Schwab that has customers, but you don’t trade in anything for yourself. Or you can be a hedge fund. But you can’t be both.

Because the minute you start trading against the customers is the minute you start designing things that aren’t good for the customers. And the minute you start designing things that aren’t good for the customers, you start designing CDOs, subprime mortgage bonds. You start to misallocate capital. You’re trying to misallocate capital.

— Michael Lewis, from his Bloomberg interview where he discusses his new book, “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” (on my reading list)

Good career advice

Interesting NY Times interview of Guy Kawasaki, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and co-founder of  Alltop.com. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc.

Q. And what would you say to business school graduates?

A. It’s a more general lesson, but in the end, success in business comes from the willingness to grind it out. It’s not because of the brilliant idea. It’s because you are willing to work hard. That’s the key to my success.

Q. Tell me about the best bosses you worked for.

A. My boss in the jewelry business was great because he taught me how to sell and how a business reputation was built on trust.

My boss at Apple was a guy named Mike Murray, who was the director of marketing of the Macintosh division. He gave me so much rope that I could hang myself and sometimes I did. After a while, your neck gets stronger and you also learn not to hang yourself.

A few levels above me, I learned from Steve Jobs that people can change the world. Maybe we didn’t get 95 percent market share, but we did make the world a better place. I learned from Steve that some things need to be believed to be seen. These are powerful lessons — very different from saying we just want to eke out an existence and keep our heads down.

Read the entire interview here.

Quote of the week

“Most everyone in the industrialized world can get their hands on a silo full of data and stimulus in a matter of minutes. The challenge is to get the most relevant, meaningful, contextualized information so that we can turn that into useful knowledge and wisdom.”

— David Shenk

Quote of the week

“We intend to return to the basics of the Toyota Way.”

Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota Motor Corp., referring to a production philosophy based on continuous improvement and efficiency that once made the company the envy of global manufacturers.

Quote of the week

“The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

— from the best-selling 2002 book by New York Times war correspondent, Chris Hedges, and opening quote in the critically-acclaimed 2009 film, “The Hurt Locker”