≡ Menu

Ryan Smith Quotes

Ryan Smith Qualtrics

Ryan Smith quotes: the tech billionaire’s top quotes.

“You can be anything you want to be, but you’re going to have to go do it.”

“You can either write your own story or have someone write it for you.  That’s the best piece of advice I’ve been given.”

“Trust your gut, learn to be scrappy, tune out the noise, and play the long game.”

Hard work is a competitive advantage.  Hard work pays off.”

“Don’t be impatient, and hard work will get you there.  If you stay the course, then it’s amazing what execution can actually do.”

“As an entrepreneur, your role is to figure things out and make them happen.”

“We just said, ‘Hey, there’s no rules.  There’s no playbook.'”

“People can deal with change better than uncertainty.”

“Try to have experiences together and learn together to avoid fighting for priorities and budget and all the ‘sh*t.’  If there is nothing but a virtual bond between people it will be easily disrupted.  When you have that connection and experiences together we have found… longest relationships succeed.  We apply that same concept to our customer base.”

“If your customer base knows your style and the way you communicate, it’s amazing how if you don’t establish this, then someone else will establish it for you.  If you think about moments where you feel a little proud, there is always a bit of adversity there.  All of you are working on something… what story will you be able to tell after this?”

“My answer to customer satisfaction is speed and quality of response when things do go bad, and this comes down to the staff on the ground.  Having employee morale high is just as important.  If they aren’t engaged, or lined up, or empathetic it makes the whole experience worse, and that is where you get into real trouble.”

“When you build a company to keep, or you build a company with a long-term vision, and you’re profitable, and you bootstrap, you’re going to get a lot of offers.  Those are going to continue to come.  I think that’s part of it.”

“A lot of entrepreneurs I talk about are trying to scale before they have a clear idea of where they’re going.  I think that there’s a balance there that needs to be looked at, because once you’ve got a better idea you’ll be able to scale very quickly.”

“With every hire you make, culture changes incrementally.  It took about 10 years before the word ‘culture’ even came up but when it did we started to focus on it.”

“Many people told us we wouldn’t be able to hire the right talent, as we aren’t headquartered in Silicon Valley.”

“The challenge is… we really believe in this ‘nail it before you scale it’ philosophy.”

“The number one challenge for us is finding the right talent.  The worst thing you can do is lower the bar because you think the local conditions don’t match.  I learned this over and over when hiring at Google.  You don’t lower the bar; you just look harder.  All countries have great people.”

“We want to learn from the experiences of others how we can best execute.  We know we’ll make some mistakes, but we don’t want to make the same ones others have made.”

“There’s challenges and opportunities that are going to open up, where we want some of the brightest minds around us.”

“There is no recipe.  It’s part of everyone’s objectives to figure out how to improve hiring, diversity, growth and turn them on their head.  At the core of scrappiness, there is an obligation to be creative, to do something no one else believes is possible.”

“We’ve been extremely transparent, but not so that we can be cool.  And it’s not about an open environment, because that’s not what makes a company transparent.  It’s more around the fact that everyone needs to know where we are going and how we are going to get there.”

“We want everyone to understand our objectives and make that available to everyone as we’re evolving, so people aren’t guessing and they’re not internally focused.  That’s one obstacle a lot of companies fall into.  I believe most companies fail because they’re not focused.  They either get focused on other things in the market that aren’t important, so they’re thrashing around without a clear objective, or they’re focused internally on things like politics and bureaucracy.”

“We want to be transparent because we want to encourage our people to have all the information to keep them focused on what really matters: our objectives and how they’re going to contribute.  When everyone’s rowing together toward the same objective, it’s extremely powerful.”

“Companies should compete on the experiences they provide by balancing the act of wowing customers, yet not being afraid to mess up through experimentation and innovating.  You need to be able to jump in the trenches to help your customers and make it amazing by exceeding their expectations.”

“We’re not perfect, and we make mistakes.  We want to find individuals who align with that, who will add value to the company in whatever role they’re in.  Part of that is the disposition to be willing to do whatever it’s going to take, because we feel that if we win as a team, we’re going to win together.”

“I’m looking to see if someone’s a ‘gamer.’  That’s what I call it.  I want to know the hardest thing they’ve ever done.  I’m trying to figure out because when the ship’s going well, everyone’s good.  But when obstacles come up, we’ve got to sit back and rethink, how are we going to navigate these?  Will some people want to jump off the ship?  Or are they going to be a gamer and want to come in, roll up their sleeves and say, ‘Hey, this is part of it.'”

“The most successful organizations will make decisions based on data.”

“Qualtrics is a technology company.  While we may be a threat to some suppliers, we are a great partner for those that are technology driven.  We have built great partnerships with innovative firms who are betting on tech for the future.  I heard a recent estimate that there is more than a trillion dollars worth of market value trapped in old school software companies that are technically, culturally, and financially incapable of making the transition to the world of tomorrow.  Suppliers had better be partnering with the right technology.”

“Working with customers excites me the most.  We have 8,000 brands all over the world, and it’s amazing to see the things people are doing.  Companies used to use our platform to solve little problems, but now we’re mission critical to their business.  Whether it’s watching a multibillion-dollar apparel brand test all their products before they go live or helping a Fortune 50 company get groundbreaking insights into their customer base, or even seeing small startups doing super innovating things, it’s almost impossible not to be excited.”

“I founded the company with my dad, a respected professor of marketing at BYU’s school of business, in his basement after my dad was diagnosed with cancer (he survived).  In 2012, I turned down a half a billion dollar acquisition offer when I was 33 years old.  We had to make a decision: are we going to keep running this like a homegrown Utah company, or are we all in to build a multibillion-dollar company?  And we just said, ‘Let’s go.’  I had been planning for months to take my software company, Qualtrics, public.  Four days before the IPO, I sold it instead for eight billion.”

“I was dreaming every single day I sat in that basement for five years.”

“Aside from the money, I think we’re doing something great.  We’re changing the way people do research, and we’re changing the way that data’s being collected and digested and turned into insights within the organization.”

“I read a lot.  I read a lot about leaders, not only in tech but outside of tech.  I’m reading a book right now about presidents of the United States.  I’m going through all of that.  I think you’ve got to.  If there’s anything… we’re all trying to get wisdom beyond our years.  How do you get 20 years of experience, or not fall into the same traps, or the holes that other people have fallen into?  How do we get everyone five years more experience, tomorrow?”

“The last book I read was How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen.”

“On the venture side, I’ve been fortunate.  I think I have pitched to everyone I ever dreamed of pitching to.”

“My dream pitch is to folks that can actually change the world.”

“I definitely had an interesting upbringing.  There are five children, and everyone’s been pretty successful.  My parents are both PhDs.  They were in academia until the late stages of their careers, when they decided to go into entrepreneurial ventures.  They raised us with the mentality of ‘if you want it, you’ve got to go out and get it.'”

“At age 14, my parents announced we would have to be buying our own school clothes with our summer job money.  That same afternoon, I was already cleaning stables.”

“You can’t give your best if you don’t take care of yourself, so I make it a priority to exercise every day.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I play basketball at six a.m.  I run or bike the rest of the week.”

“On my home screen is a five billion dollar note from Zimbabwe and a picture of my wife and kids.”

“The journey is far from over.  I have attention deficit disorder as much as anyone else, yet something has powered me through everything, including many lows.  Somehow I find a way to remain positive within the rollercoaster ride of emotions of being an entrepreneur.”

“Just like a kid, I tend to forget the day before and live in the present.  So through the years, when issues arose, I would try to sleep it off and tackle things again the next day.  Many times I was unsure if I could actually pull through, but I wouldn’t let doubt get the better of me.”

“I don’t sleep much, but when I do, I sleep very deeply.  When I wake up in the morning, it is as if whatever happened yesterday was only a dream.  Today is a new day, with a million new opportunities to succeed.”

Related: Robert Pera quotes.

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.