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James Goodnight Quotes

James Howard Goodnight

James Goodnight quotes: the billionaire software savant’s top tips.

“Innovation is the key to success… and creativity fuels innovation.  Creativity is especially important.”

“Create a work environment that lets people be creative.”

“Creative people need to be treated like they’re very special people.”

“You can have success… if you start small and satisfy the needs of one group after another.”

[On the importance of a mentor – his basketball coach] If we won, it was always our win.  The coach recognized it as a team success.  If we lost, he said, ‘I didn’t have you prepared, it was my fault.’  That selflessness is something I always tried to pursue.”

“Healthy environment in a company increases the productivity of an employee.”

“Give more focus to make a good culture in the organization.”

“Encouragement, demand and teamwork are the success of an organization.”

“Give more focus on employee effectiveness, not employee productivity.”

“Help employees do their best work by keeping them intellectually challenged and by removing distractions.  Make managers responsible for sparking creativity.  Eliminate arbitrary distinctions between ‘suits’ and ‘creatives.’  Engage customers as creative partners to help deliver superior products.”

“Treat employees like they make a difference and they will.”

“When people are treated as if they’re important and truly make a difference, their loyalty and engagement soar.”

“What this proves is that people want a life with money, not money without a life.”

“Think differently in order to attract knowledge workers.  They have to be treated and respected or you won’t have them anymore.”

“It turns out that doing the right thing – treating people right – is also the right thing for the company.”

“Given the nature of my business, 95% of my assets drive out the gate every evening.”

“It’s better for employees to go home and be with their family than stay at the office making a lot of mistakes.”

“Look for people who fit.  And if you’re not creative and hardworking, then you won’t fit very well.  So hire creative people from the start.  The surroundings, too… I believe that fosters creativity.”

“Keep your employees happy.  They do a good job of keeping your customers happy.”

“Really, you just have to give people a great place to work.”

“Treat people well, keep them challenged with interesting work, respect them and their contributions, and they will do their best work for you.  Isn’t that how it should be everywhere?  You’d think so, but it isn’t.”

“I’m not as much of a visionary as Bill Gates, so I can’t tell where the industry is going.”

“The software and technology industries move very rapidly.  We don’t even try to plan out more than two years, because from start to finish, that’s about the time it takes us to do anything really big.  We just think in terms of what’s the most important thing to be working on now.”

“It’s an amazingly effective business practice, listening to your customers.”

Steve Jobs is incredible.  But there are very few Apples.  Listen to our customers.”

“Every touch point that you have with the customer, you need to be able to collect information.”

“We have a very simple philosophy: try to make sure the percentage revenue growth is higher than the percentage expense growth.  It’s a magic formula.”

“The fact that we’re private means that we can make long-range decisions.  We don’t have to be worried about quarterly profits or about pleasing Wall Street.  We just please our employees and our customers.”

“Twenty-first century employers are looking for workers who are proficient in science, technology, engineering and math, but in American schools these are not areas of great interest.”

“Education is the economic engine for our country, and without education improvements, the United States is going to be in trouble.  But, when it comes to working hard in school, many American children are ‘just not that into it.’  Science and math are hard – you have to work hard.  A lot of American kids… like to play games, watch TV and send messages to each other over the internet.”

“Kids are surrounded by technology at all times.  There’s such enormous finger pointing at teachers.  Teachers are teaching the way they were taught to teach.  But kids have changed.  Today, they are absolutely different.  You must find a way to motivate them to learn.”

“Just giving kids computers where they can write as well as type makes a big difference.”

“There are definitely people who need to go into liberal arts; you probably have them as managers right now.  Our country is just too out of balance.  We have too many people going into liberal arts.”

“The future of our country is in producing highly-educated people.  Otherwise, we’ll lose our high-tech jobs to India and China.”

“I’ve never really thought of myself as an entrepreneur.  I think of an entrepreneur as someone who wants to make a lot of money.  That has never been at the top of my list.”

“Mathematics and chemistry were my strongest subjects in school, thanks, in part, to a wonderful chemistry teacher at New Hanover High School.”

“In mid-stream, a light went on, and I fell in love, making machines which do things for other people.”

“There’s this creative thing in me that wants to have my work used – like the author of a book who wants it read.”

“I’m not big on reading business books.  I get copies of all of them, because people want me to put a comment on the jacket.  Every once in a while, I’ll get interested and read one all the way through.”

“I can live without food, water and other life utilities, but not without computers.”

“It’s great to get an award for work you’ve enjoyed with a passion and done all your life.”

“We’re living in some of the most exciting times now.  I love what I do.  I think I do it well.  My health is good.  And do you know, I don’t have that many people at SAS coming up to me and asking, ‘When are you going to retire, Jim?'”

“I’m going from here right into the ground.”

“Now let’s just get back to work.”

Also good: Hewlett-Packard quotes.

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