Entrepreneurs

50 of the Most Inspiring Startup Quotes from Successful Entrepreneurs

Catch the entrepreneurial spirit by learning from the best. That’s advice to live by, and you can get motivated to carve out your own path with the 50 inspiring quotes from people who have launched their own highly successful startups. From Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to Hugh Hefner of Playboy, you’ll find quotes in this list that will make you think, make you laugh, make you wonder, and make you want to jump out of your seat and take the next step with your own entrepreneurial endeavors!

1. “I like to pride myself on thinking pretty long term, but not that long term.” - Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder, Facebook

2. “Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.” - Tony Hsieh, Co-founder, Zappos

3. “Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.” - Michael Dell, Founder, Dell

4. “If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large.” - Jeff Bezos, Founder, Bezos

5. “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” - Angelo Sotira, Co-founder, DeviantArt

6. “When you’re a one man show, you have to focus on the most important thing to get done today.” - Noah Everett, Founder, Twitpic

7. “You need to be surrounded by good advisers, but you also need to trust your instinct.” - Chris Hughes, Co-founder, Facebook

8. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” - Biz Stone, Co-founder, Twitter

9. “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.” - Larry Ellison, Co-founder, Oracle

10. “Having a partner definitely allows you to take more risks.” - Arianna Huffington, Co-founder, The Huffington Post

11. “The most essential quality for a good team is trust.” - Dina Kaplan, Co-founder, Blip.tv

12. “The cost of hiring someone bad is so much greater than missing out on someone good.” - Joe Kraus, Partner, Google Ventures

13. “The way to get started is quit talking and start doing.” - Walt Disney, Co-founder, Disney

14. “Always deliver more than expected.” - Larry Page, Co-founder, Google

15. “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.” - Ingvar Kamprad, Founder, IKEA

16. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” - Mary Kay Ash, Founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics

17. “It’s not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.” - Edwin Land, Creator, Polaroid

18. “Don’t find fault. Find remedy. Anyone can complain.” - Henry Ford, Founder, Ford

19. “Don’t let people tell you your ideas are stupid. If you’re really passionate about something, find a way to build it.” - Dennis Crowley, Co-founder, foursquare

20. “Follow the cream of the crop in your area of online expertise and learn from them. Network with them.” - Mark Forrester, Co-founder, WooThemes

21. “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” - Jack Dorsey, Co-founder, Twitter

22. “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” - Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Apple

23. “Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.” - Hugh Hefner, Founder, Playboy

24. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” - Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin

25. “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.” - Bill Gates, Co-founder, Microsoft

26. “Success and profitability are outcomes of focusing on customers and employees, not objectives.” - Jack Ma, Lead Founder, Alibaba

27. “Even if you don’t have the perfect idea to begin with, you can likely adapt.” - Victoria Ransom, Co-founder, Wildfire Interactive

28. “Openly share and talk to people about your idea. Use their lack of interest or doubt to fuel your motivation to make it happen.” - Todd Garland, Founder, BuySellAds

29. “High expectations are the key to everything.” - Sam Walton, Founder, Walmart

30. “You have to have more leadership, less management. It’s about getting stuff done, you can sit around and analyze things forever but while you do that the competition has moved on.” - Peter Vesterbacka, Founder, Rovio Games (including Angry Birds)

31. “Don’t take too much advice. Most people who have a lot of advice to give — with a few exceptions — generalize whatever they did. Don’t over-analyze everything.  I myself have been guilty of over-thinking problems. Just build things and find out if they work.” - Ben Silbermann, Founder, Pinterest

32. “We’re not very good at knowing what we want, and we are very quick to say, ‘This sucks.’ That’s where the opportunity lies.” - Gary Vaynerchuk, Founder, Wine Library TV

33. “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.” – Sara Blakely, Founder, Spanx

34. “Execution really shapes whether your company takes off or not. A lot of people start out with an exciting thing and they want to take over the world, but really the people who do take over the world have a good plan of how to get there and the steps along the way.” - Pete Cashmore, Founder, Mashable

35. “You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.” - Ted Turner, Founder, TBS, CNN, and more

36. “Be a user of your own product. Make it better based on your own desires. But don’t trick yourself into thinking you are the user.” - Evan Williams, Co-founder, Twitter

37. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” - Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Apple

38. “You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done.” - Russell Simmons, Founder, Def Jam

39. “You jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down.” - Reid Hoffman, Founder, LinkedIn

40. “Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities and don’t let the bastards get you down.” - Michael Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg L.P.

41. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself” - Oprah Winfrey, Founder Harpo Productions, OWN

42. “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.” – Harland Sanders, Founder, KFC

43. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” - Caterina Fake, Co-founder, Flickr

44. “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone. Know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.” - Dave Thomas, Founder, Wendy’s

45. “Whatever you do, be different. That was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” - Anita Roddick, Founder, The Body Shop

46. “I think it’s very important that whatever you’re trying to make or sell, or teach has to be basically good. A bad product and you know what? You won’t be here in ten years.” - Martha Stewart, Founder, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

47. “The one thing that I think is critical in the entrepreneurial spirit is that it’s all attitude. If you think you can, then you’re half way there. If you say, ‘I can’t,’ then you’re defeated.” - Debbi Fields, Founder, Mrs. Fields Cookies

48. “Trust your instincts.” - Estee Lauder, Founder, Estee Lauder

49. “Risk more than others think safe. Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible. Care more than others think wise.” - Howard Schultz, Founder, Starbucks

50. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple

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  • Josh

    great set of quotes thank you! but why that photo at the top, its kind of startling and out of place, honestly. it doesn’t speak entrepreneur to me.