≡ Menu

Safra Catz Quotes

Safra Catz

Safra Catz quotes: the tech titan’s best soundbites.

“What are important qualities to be successful?  The most important quality is courage.”

“Courage is about doing something new.  A lot of people are comfortable doing things the old way – and they will constantly fight you.  You have to have the courage of your convictions to just go for it.”

“Be flexible.  It’s paramount to understand that continuing to do what made you successful in the past may not be where your future is.”

“It’s critical to simplify and run the business in such a way that resources are released to invest in your main business.”

“The truth is that technology is only valuable if it helps you run your organization better.”

“I like to say it’s an attitude of not just thinking outside the box, but not even seeing the box.”

“I encourage you to also think very, very carefully when you’re making an investment decision that in fact that decision is really a need you’re filling that you believe in.  Don’t just go with everybody else.  Don’t just watch a PowerPoint like a dog watching television.  Make sure it makes sense.  The focus needs to be where you can add competitive value to your customer and have competitive advantage.”

“[On success] Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to get there.  Of course, time is money.  But that’s the way to go – hard work, focus, and specialization, and then no one can catch you.”

“[On completion of a successful quarter] I implored my troops not to get sloppy.  I called many of my folks together and said, ‘Hey guys, this is the most dangerous moment of your lives.  This is when you make big mistakes.  This is where you assume you’re better than you are, when you ignore the red flags because you think you’re going to get over it.'”

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is to be reminded of one I learned a long time ago, but still requires constant discipline: listen, think, and don’t be afraid to change your position based on new facts.”

“In the finance world, we used to spend all of our time looking backwards, reporting on what happened.  Can I book it?  What are the numbers?  Now it’s about looking into the future.  It’s about planning and integration.  The role of finance is now that of a partner in the business.”

“What happened in the past can help you know what’s going to happen in the future.  That insight brings a next level of intelligence not just to sales and marketing but to ERP [enterprise resource planning], where you can save more money in procurement or figure out whether the people you recruit are going to be successful in your organization.”

“Whether you’re a government entity, a large enterprise, or a startup, a true digital transformation takes advantage of technology to focus on the customer, automates work that does not need manual interference, and unleashes your people to truly make decisions that change the path of your company.”

“Managers used to say, ‘I have a gut feeling.’  Do you know what a gut feeling is for a professional manager?  It’s a pattern that they recognize.  But if your system can recognize that pattern, if it’s not just a couple of managers who know that pattern, then the system’s gut feeling can tell you which way to go.  That’s really liberating.”

“If you are in this business long enough, you hear about a thousand things that are going to kill you.  Open source?  Yeah, we are not dead yet.  Cloud?  That’s not new; it’s a new name.”

“Thou shalt not steal, it’s an oldie but it’s a goodie.”

“There’s an expectation that when you become a senior executive that you got there in part because you’re really listening.  It’s very, very important to listen to your customers.  They’re it.  They’re doing you a favor by telling you what they think and you can’t get to this position without listening to the issues and engaging in creative problem solving, because that’s what this is really about.”

“Let your customers be your partners; let your vendors be your employees.  What’s necessary in this transformation more than anything else is courage and a willingness to change.”

“A core focus of our effort is based on the recognition that our customers have varying needs, and one of their most important needs is to have choice.”

“The most important thing is to understand the goals and issues of the customers and work through them.  Often hard work can solve most problems as well as some real willingness to try.”

“Sometimes you have to take some blame for something that’s happened in the past and say, ‘I was wrong.  That was a mistake.’  And maybe it’s not you, but it’s your company, which means you’re responsible.  I’ll say, ‘Okay, if that’s what we did, I’m sorry about that.  Let me see how to make that right.'”

“As much as people say they love change, they love it when you change – not when you want them to change.  Even when it comes to processes they don’t like, they’re afraid of change.”

“You can recover from being stupid, but you can never recover from being a liar.  Integrity is a perishable asset, and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.”

“The press is not your friend.  If a reporter is giving you a hard time, is being unreasonable, you have my permission to tell them to go f*ck themselves.”

“It is absolutely critical for competitiveness in the United States for us to really raise the bar in education, especially in math, in science, in technology.”

“The demographic of young people?  In each hand is a phone, more powerful than a computer.  It’s a doorway to the digital nation, to education.”

“[On technology changing the way philanthropic organizations operate] Technology is changing everything, whether it is in reaching out to potential volunteers and donors or running the organizations as efficiently as possible.  And I think that many companies can mobilize their employees to participate in important causes.  It is good for the companies and good for their employees.”

“I know firsthand the complexities of leading an enterprise through business and technology transformation.  It takes intense focus, a strong drive, and a clearly communicated vision to inspire and take an organization from where they are, to where they need to be – or where they want to go.”

“I come from Wall Street, and you’ll never see me do a PowerPoint because I’m all about Excel spreadsheets.  If it’s not in the numbers, I don’t care how strategic it is, it doesn’t play out.”

“It’s imperative to get more women involved.  Tech is about solving problems people don’t realize they have yet.  To solve problems, you don’t want to exclude half of your group.”

“The most significant barrier to female leadership is the actual lack of females in leadership.  The best advice I can give to women is to go out and start something, ideally their own businesses.  If you can’t see a path for leadership within your own company, go blaze a trail of your own.”

“The biggest challenge for the next generation of women is to turn these generational expectations on their ear.  Hopefully in the future, generational challenges will be measured by achievement, not gender.”

“My greatest inspiration is my mother, the bravest person I ever knew.  She overcame incredible odds, worked while raising two kids, and made it all look incredibly simple.  Even in her final days succumbing to cancer, she fought like a champion.”

“My dream job was to work in an ice cream shop.  Two weeks and five pounds later, I realized it wasn’t for me.  For many years, I had planned to be a corporate lawyer.  As luck would have it, other than a summer internship, I didn’t end up doing that either.”

“My best decision was to choose to go to Wall Street over law.  I learned a lot and focused on the expanding software industry at a time when the independent software industry was just beginning.”

“The worst decision, hands down, was wearing bright yellow when I was nine months pregnant.  I looked like a bumble bee.  I have not worn yellow since.”

“Oracle is my second job ever that did not involve waitressing.  But I still have my waitress apron just in case this does not work out.  It’s just that I fell in love with software when I was programming in college.  When I was an investment banker, there were mostly mainframe companies and very few software ones.”

“I learn from Larry Ellison every day.  I’ve said this before: how is it to work with someone who thinks out of the box?  Larry doesn’t see the walls at all; he does not see the box.  He is an absolute, true visionary.  And to be honest, I always find myself in a box!  I’m comfy in my box.  I’ve furnished it; it’s lovely.”

“Common sense will always prevail.  America will advance the agenda for the greatest minds.”

Cory Johnson: your momma’s neighbor’s side chick’s last Uber Eats delivery guy’s third-favorite blogger. Here’s how he makes millions of dollars blogging without being bothered.