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Jeffrey Katzenberg Quotes

Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg quotes: wise words from the film and media mogul.

Inspiration comes from all different places.”

“Adversity is something that all of us have to deal with. Through the challenge of dealing with adversity, with hope and optimism and courage, spirit is rewarded for that. And I think that’s true of life. Adversity makes you smart and strong.”

“I’m a builder. I love seeing… over the horizon, around the corner. Usually at the outset I’ve mostly always been treated with, ‘Oh, I don’t think that’s going to work’… right? That’s what you hear and here’s a way to think abut it: if you are going to do something that is unique and is original, it’s by definition going to be risky because no one has done it before.”

“It’s about creating a great environment for people to be able to pursue and realize dreams, even though those dreams, in many cases, are anywhere between improbable and impossible. A manager needs to create an environment where people have the ability to fail and to take risk. If you don’t allow some failure in the equation, you’re not going to have people do things that are risky and unique or that are unique and original.”

“You shouldn’t be fearful of starting over.”

“I don’t look backward.”

“I ignore the possibility of failure in the pursuit of success. That’s who I am.”

“You have to deal with moments in one’s life when you have to make a choice and take responsibility for your actions.”

“I think a good entrepreneur has a very clear grasp of what the goal is, an unwavering sense of the goal, an utterly agile approach of getting there.”

“The thing about startups is you can make it, and if it’s wrong you can remake it, and you can build a team that you want to have, a product that you want to have. You’re utterly focused on your users or your customers and their needs, and trying to figure out how to meet those needs.”

“If people are over-worked, the quality of their work diminishes.”

“When you’re put in the wrong place at the wrong time, you learn amazing things about life, you experience moments of sacrifice, and learn how to be a leader.”

“If you want people to do something new, you have to make it rewarding for them creatively and financially.”

“This is real collaboration, when people get together in a room with a full exchange of ideas.”

“The thing that’s changed the most has just been the rapid technology.”

“The internet rewards scale; by trading higher up-front costs for lower marginal cost, market leaders can invest in better technology and service. As a result, there is nothing online that is both great in quality and small in scale. Amazon wasn’t originally a better bookstore than the small shops we mourn, but it is now.”

“The internet is the first technology since the printing press which could lower the cost of a great education and, in doing so, make that cost-benefit analysis much easier for most students. It could allow American schools to service twice as many students as they do now, and in ways that are both effective and cost-effective.”

“No two children learn in the same way. While we might agree that every American eight-year-old should be able to read and multiply, beyond those basics, there are few reasons to make every student follow the same path.”

“College isn’t necessarily for everyone. Everyone who follows business news likely knows that tech billionaires Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Mark Zuckerberg never finished college. Neither did I. I dropped out of NYU in my first semester. In 1970, when I started at New York University, I was working for then Mayor John Lindsay. The police went on strike in New York City, which had never happened before. And I thought I could do better working for the Mayor than in a college classroom. And that was the end of my college career.”

“I am an entertainer and storyteller.”

“I learned things about growing up, the fragility of people, and what it is to have, and not have, things.”

“Every single thing you see on-screen came out of somebody’s creativity. It doesn’t exist. Nature didn’t deliver it to us. Everything had to be dreamed.”

“Any time a film scores a massive hit or gets uniform critical acclaim, it’s a surprise. When a film does both, it’s a miracle.”

“I know what we do really well—I just try and keep us focused on doing that.”

“I haven’t got a lot of patience. If you asked 100 people to list 100 words to describe me, not one of them would have ‘patient’ written down. The irony is that the medium I find myself in love with and devoted to takes infinite patience.”

“‘If you don’t show up Saturday, don’t bother coming in Sunday.’ And when I said it, I meant it. But later I learned that work-life balance is not just a nice theoretical thought. There is a moment in time in which you actually have to find those things that make you whole as a human being, and then make you better at what you’re doing.”

“It’s been a year of learning and I’d like to believe that I’m better for it. Despite some difficulties, so much has been accomplished.”

“Entertainment is not an industry you choose because it’s easy. There’s no straight line to success. You have to take risks.”

“We are making enough gold out of hay here that I don’t regret it.”

“We’ve learned a whole lot, but at the top of the list? People are coming back every day. The completion rate—in other words, you start something and go all the way and finish it—is extremely high.”

“Remember, I’m someone who got fired from Disney and eight days later started the first studio in 65 years with two of the most brilliant, successful people in the history of the entertainment business, doing something everyone said was somewhere between improbable and impossible. I’m afraid that’s exactly what I love doing.”

“It’s incredible how someone I never met (Walt Disney) could be such a presence in my life. His words and his work opened up my world to a level of pure creativity I never imagined.”

“I became Barry Diller’s assistant in the 1970s, a former Paramount chairman, as one of my most important mentors. He created a unique environment in which risk-taking was encouraged and failure wasn’t fatal.”

“I have been partnered with the greatest friend and love of my life, my wife, for 50 years. And I can’t imagine there’s anything I do or make in which she hasn’t been an influence on me. I know this sounds incredibly old-fashioned, but in my case it happens to be true.”

“One of the things that has happened for me is that whatever came next was better than what I had before.”

“A company like DreamWorks, all we do is make product. That’s all we do. We don’t own distribution. We are purely in the creation of content.”

“What I love most about animation is, it’s a team sport, and everything we do is about pure imagination.”

“I dare you to be married for 44 years and exceed anyone’s expectations.”

“The most fun thing for me is I love taking on things that are hard. ‘If not impossible, if not improbable’—that’s my home address. That’s where I live and I have my whole life.”

Related: Steven Spielberg quotes.

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