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63 Brand-New Quotes From Warren Buffett; “More kids are ruined by the behavior of their parents than the size of their inheritance.”

63 Brand-New Quotes From Warren Buffett

By Matt Koppenheffer | More Articles | Save For Later
May 12, 2013 | Comments (8)

The tried and true “classic” Warren Buffett quotes are classics because they’re great, timeless bits of investing wisdom. But sometimes they can also feel a bit too well worn. Following are 63 brand-new quotes from Buffett, fresh from the May 4 Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) shareholder meeting.

1. On playing table tennis with Ariel Hsing at Borsheims: “If you’re courageous you’ll show up with your paddle and you’ll look like an idiot.”

2. “If the market continues as it has in 2013, this will be the first five-year period that Berkshire has underperformed. … It won’t be a happy day, but it won’t totally discourage us.”

3. On what makes ISCAR great: “[They] never stop improving the product, never stop trying to make customers happy.”

4. Responding to a shareholder who thanked him for letting attendees in early from the cold and rain: “If we had a company that sold coats, we would have left you out there.”

5. On his successor: “It would be rejected like a foreign tissue if we got the wrong person in there.” Read more of this post

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Why Low-Risk Innovation Is Costly

Why Low-Risk Innovation Is Costly

Companies are finding it hard to churn out “the next big thing”. Instead of the disruptive products, services and business models of yesteryears, innovations coming to market today are typically line extensions.

An Accenture survey of more than 500 executives has found that while one in five (18 percent) respondents rate innovation as their top strategic priority and two-thirds depend strongly on innovation for their long-term strategy success, and more than half feel they have a sluggish innovation process. Companies are seeking to innovate but are increasingly less satisfied with the results. The respondents also have an answer to why this is happening. They are aware that a cautious approach and reduced investment by companies to generate renovation or, at best, incremental innovation is a potentially perilous strategy. By putting formal systems in place to manage innovation, companies can protect themselves from such risks. Enterprises able to successfully innovate at a breakthrough level are far more likely to dominate and prosper in the new markets they create. They can also position themselves to master change.

Last updated: May 17, 2013 10:26 pm

Companies see innovation without results

By Paul Taylor

The vast bulk of corporate innovation initiatives are failing to deliver the results that senior executives expected. Despite increased investment in innovation, only 18 per cent of executives believe their company’s innovation efforts deliver a competitive advantage, according to a survey conducted by Accenture and published this week. Read more of this post

What Value Creation Will Look Like in the Future

What Value Creation Will Look Like in the Future

by Jack Hughes  |   9:00 AM May 17, 2013

Organizations have nearly perfected implementing the industrial model of managing work — the effort applied toward completing a task. For individuals, this model ensures that we know what we’re supposed to do each day. For organizations, it guarantees predictability and efficiency. The problem with the model is that work is becoming commoditized at an increasing rate, extending beyond manual tasks into knowledge work, as data entry, purchasing, billing, payroll, and similar responsibilities become automated. If your organization draws value from optimizing repetitive work, you’ll find that it will be increasingly difficult to extract that value.

The value of products and services today is based more and more on creativity — the innovative ways that they take advantage of new materials, technologies, and processes. Value creation in the past was a function of economies of industrial scale: mass production and the high efficiency of repeatable tasks. Value creation in the future will be based on economies of creativity: mass customization and the high value of bringing a new product or service improvement to market; the ability to find a solution to a vexing customer problem; or, the way a new product or service is sold and delivered. Read more of this post

The ‘Believe It or Not’ Life of Ripley: The godfather of reality shows and purveyor of freaks empathized with struggling people; he’d been there.

May 17, 2013, 9:17 p.m. ET

The ‘Believe It or Not’ Life of Ripley

The purveyor of freaks and godfather of reality TV empathized with people on the margins; he’d been there

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The man primarily responsible for mainstreaming our voyeuristic tendencies was Robert ‘Believe It or Not!’ Ripley. In his cartoons and books, on radio and TV, the globe-trotting Ripley tapped into Americans’ appetite for the oddly titillating, the unbelievable, the uncomfortable.

By NEAL THOMPSON

America’s TV and computer screens are crammed with people doing extreme, dangerous, exotic, bizarre or embarrassing things. They crab-fish or dive for gold in Alaska; they compete in little-girl beauty pageants or run moonshine in the South; they attempt outrageous feats, striving to set records and, above all, get noticed.

Our obsession with peculiar people is nothing new, though, nor did it originate with P.T. Barnum, whose genius was for sideshow spectacle. The man primarily responsible for mainstreaming our voyeuristic tendencies was Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley. In his cartoons and books, on radio and TV, the globe-trotting Ripley tapped into Americans’ appetite for the oddly titillating, the unbelievable, the uncomfortable.

Until his death in 1949, at age 59, Ripley was the unrivaled impresario of freaks of the natural world (compare today’s “River Monsters”), exposes of popular falsehoods (cue “Mythbusters”) and celebrations of charismatic underdogs (“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”). He gave a platform to every sort of specialist in self-abuse and pseudo-torture: sword swallowers, glass-eaters, contortionists and self-mutilators, from the man who lifted weights with hooks in his eyelids to the one who took a shot in the gut with a cannonball to the one who ate an entire sack of portland cement. During the Depression, as Americans sought affordable means of escape and entertainment in a world before television, Ripley provided both in abundance. In his day, he possessed the combined cultural clout of YouTube, “American Idol” and Monday Night Football. Read more of this post

The Tyranny of the Micromanager: It is notoriously difficult to get rid of a micromanager once he or she holds power. They rule without mercy, turning the minute and the mundane into weapons of war.

May 17, 2013, 9:09 p.m. ET

The Tyranny of the Micromanager

It is notoriously difficult to get rid of a micromanager once he or she holds power.

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By AMANDA FOREMAN

As anyone who has had the misfortune to work for a micromanager knows, success only makes the manager worse. Nor is this observation limited to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

Frederick the Great of Prussia was a notorious micromanager of his generals. During the battle of Zorndorf in 1758, he shunted around his battalions like a boy playing with tin soldiers. Finally, goaded to the point of exasperation by the king’s interference, his brilliant cavalry general Friedrich von Seydlitz had the following message relayed to headquarters: “After the battle the king can do what he likes with my head, but during the battle will he please allow me to use it?”

Frederick partially relented, once he made sure that their plans for battle were essentially the same, and Seydlitz went on to achieve a decisive victory against the Russians. But the following year at Kunersdorf, poor Seydlitz was not so lucky, and Frederick insisted on sending his beloved cavalry straight into the waiting guns of the Russian artillery.

It’s notoriously difficult to get rid of a micromanager once he or she holds the reins of power. They rule without mercy, turning the minute and the mundane into weapons of war. The trick is to recognize the danger signs early on and take the appropriate preventive measures. Read more of this post

The Book of Kings: A fast-paced, blood-soaked history of the dynasty that transformed England from a loosely-governed patchwork into a powerful nation

May 17, 2013, 3:30 p.m. ET

The Book of Kings

A fast-paced, blood-soaked history of the dynasty that transformed England from a loosely-governed patchwork into a powerful nation.

By STEPHEN BRUMWELL

In April 1349, as an epidemic of bubonic plague devastated his subjects, King Edward III of England staged a lavish tournament at Windsor Castle. This spectacular festival of jousting culminated in the creation of an exclusive club, the Order of the Garter. Edward was fascinated by stories of the legendary King Arthur. In founding a new order of chivalry, he sought to establish his own Knights of the Round Table, with an expanded Windsor standing in for Camelot.

Yet as Dan Jones amply demonstrates in “The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England,” such ostentatious display amid the horrors of the Black Death was justified by harsh personal experience: Edward’s father, Edward II, had been deposed and murdered in 1327 because of his failure to win the respect of his war-minded nobles. By inviting them to join his new fraternity, Edward III was not only rallying the military support he needed to pursue a claim to the crown of France—he had invaded the country in 1346 and warred there consistently through 1359—but taking steps to ensure that he would never share his father’s dismal fate. Read more of this post

Scientist who beat Nasa to the ozone hole: Joe Farman, physicist and environmental hero, 1930-2013

May 17, 2013 7:11 pm

Scientist who beat Nasa to the ozone hole

By Pilita Clark

Joe Farman was not long out of university when he nearly turned his back on the job that led him to make one of the most important discoveries in environmental science.

The young Cambridge physicist had spotted an advert in New Scientist magazine for a researcher to go to Antarctica. “I sort of blinked at it,” he later said, before eventually deciding: “Well if I don’t do it now I won’t ever do it.” That he applied was just as well. Farman, who has died aged 82, became the man who found the hole in the world’s ozone layer. Even so, it was not something that happened in the most straightforward way. By 1956 he had begun a life with what is now theBritish Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. “They were just doing curiosity-based research,” says Chris Rapley, a former BAS director. This included measuring the ozone in the stratosphere – the bluish-green gas that filters out ultraviolet solar rays, which hasten skin cancers, cataracts and other ills. Read more of this post

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