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David Duffield Quotes

David Arthur Duffield

David Duffield quotes: on software, sales, satisfied customers, and more.

“Be somebody that’s not above doing any menial job.  Take chances with your own time and your own finances to better something.”

“Go find one of those big companies and count yourself lucky to be imbued with this culture, this values system that made this company successful.  Then when you’re ready, go out and do your own thing.”

“Do what you say you’re going to do.”

“Be honest and treat everybody with respect.”

“Treat fellow employees, customers… and the bagel delivery people with the same respect and courtesy you’d offer the late Jerry Garcia.”

“Being nice and competitive are two different things.”

“The really important thing is your core values and beliefs: integrity, fun, profitability and critically, making sure employee happiness is a priority.  You got to get it right.”

“I aspired to have a harmonious work environment and failed the first two or three times, and would have failed the fourth time had I not woken up and took this core values system and beliefs seriously.”

“Be in sales.  Be aware that it is important that your company sell its products, whether you’re in administration or development – you have got to be in sales.”

“Hone communication skills, particularly writing and presenting.  And work your tail off.”

“If you truly listen to what people are saying, you’ll find out what’s on their mind that they want to be comfortable with.  And then you’ll be more effective in addressing their concerns.  Simple advice, but it’s often the difference between outstanding salespeople and ones who can’t understand why they’re having such a hard time closing the deal.”

“Customers are your best salespeople.  The higher the service levels you give a customer, particularly during the formative years, the more likely you will keep going and sell more business.”

“You don’t know this when you’re young, but over time, you see that great companies are usually built at a special point in time.”

“They’re not built for the average person – you and me.  Businesses need applications that are built for everyone.”

“With a private company, you’ve got to get into who’s investing and what’s the balance sheet like.  So going public is a positive thing from the perspective of the sales organization.  It’s a special thing to be a public company.”

“I don’t want young entrepreneurs to repeat my mistakes.  Starting my first business at 28, one of my biggest regrets was not implementing the business lessons I learned from my first job (which was at IBM) until much later in my career.”

“IBM was the company that had the best foundation of core values and beliefs.  I felt it, but I didn’t understand it.  It took me over 20 years, during which time I started four companies, to finally apply what worked at IBM to my own businesses.  This realization would pave the way for my two biggest successes, enterprise software firms PeopleSoft and Workday.”

“Innovation is important.  Go to this great company and look around for a problem to solve.  Do it well, whether you’re helping sell a new customer or helping to fix a customer problem.  I learned that if you located an interesting problem to solve, you solved it well, the customer was happy, said nice things.  Well, you got to solve the next problem.  It was a company where you could achieve, and you could believe that you’d be recognized.”

“In business, I firmly believe that you treat everyone you come into contact with – customers, employees, vendors, students, competitors, and so forth – with the same high regard.  You never know when someone might pass a kind word along to another who might be influential to your business.  It’s a simple ‘what goes around comes around’ philosophy.”

“The most important thing is employees… hire the best, treat them well, expect a lot from them.  They’re the champions of the business.  Customers are a close second.  Employees are number one.”

“I have teamed with some of the brightest minds in the industry to create the next generation of applications to meet the demands of today’s extended enterprise.”

“I think a leader should be a likable person.  Get employees to do things without telling them, and don’t make it contrived.”

“Create a great place to work that also took care of your customers.  Now that’s standard best practices.”

“I think I’ve done a good job in the industry from the standpoint of employee morale and customer satisfaction, and as an innovative thinker in tech.”

“I hate to lose.  I don’t consider myself a brilliant individual in technology… but I am attracted to people and I’m willing to take chances.”

“[On staying ahead of the kids] Don’t eat too much.  I just don’t like being overweight.  My latest success starts with a willingness to chase the big opportunity.  Helping the cause is extra wisdom gleaned from many years of experience.  Most important, is finding the right partner.”

“You get to the point in life where you sort of wake up to the world and look outside your little box.”

“I’ll sweep the floors.  I’ve picked up napkins in the men’s room.  I’m not above anything.”

“Yeah, I could go rock on the back porch and do crossword puzzles – but I’ve got six kids… and someone in the family should work.  That’s me.  There will be naysayers who say I’m too old or I’m shooting for something that I will never be able to achieve.  But the industry needs this.”

“I’m sort of a foot-on-the-gas kind of guy.”

Millionaires and billionaires come into their money in many different ways.  Some inherit the money, some are just born into money and some just make some great investments.  Of course there are some that just come with great inventions or business ideas.”

“I am no doubt one of the world’s richest billionaires and I’m not done yet.”

“It’s a new day.  Stay tuned.”

Related: Bill Gates quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.