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Quotations referenced across the site sorted by date of post (descending). Click on the (light-blue) link(s) above the quotation to view the quotation within the context of an article. Quotations without links are pending for articles yet-to-be-published. Click here for a simple alphabetical listing of quotations

The value of fiat money+ and its acceptance in transactions emerge as properties of a dynamic economic system. The acceptance of fiat money ‘as a store of value’ comes from expectations, enforced by the legal and administrative structures of a society. paraphrased from Martin Shubik (2000). The Theory of Money.


It takes a special kind of person to overcome these difficulties. In contrast to the "economic man," who carefully calculates marginal costs and revenues of alternative courses of action on the basis of known data, the entrepreneur must be a man of "vision," of daring, willing to take chances, to strike out, largely on the basis of intuition, on courses of action in direct opposition to the established, settled patterns of the circular flow. The entrepreneur is more of a "heroic" than an "economic" figure: he must have "the drive and the will to found a private kingdom" as a "captain of industry"; the "will to conquer", to fight for the sake of the fight rather than simply the financial gains of the combat: the desire to create new things — even at the expense of destroying old patterns of thought and action. Schumpeter, J. A. (1951). Ten Great Economists

Innovation must be financed by turning to a source of credit above and beyond the circular flow (i.e., today’s money tied up in today’s economic equilibrium) namely, to the banks, the only institutions with the unique ability to create new money [and] new purchasing power above current savings out of current income. paraphrased from the introduction to Schumpeter, J. A., & Opie, R. (1934). The theory of economic development: An inquiry into profits, capital, credit, interest, and the business cycle

…the medium [Bessemer Steel] gave them the opportunity to express themselves in new ways, to make new and exciting arrangements, to create something out of their thoughts and feelings that had not existed before. Once achieved, they were readier to move on to other mediums [plate glass, open hearth, peace]. Morison, Elting E. (1968). Men, Machines, and Modern Times

We had to place many hundreds of millions of dollars of pension fund money. We performed due diligence on many biotech and life science companies. I think we were able to weed out the worst. In the end we placed the money with individuals with whom we had done business in the past. It was all about the relationships. Technical Adviser to a Major Venture Capital firm (2010). Personal communication

The U.S. market will not embrace your ideas. Head to Asia like Deming. Head of Clinical for Major Pharmaceutical Company (2011). Personal Communication.

These [Clinical R&D Partnership] worked very well, until some years later the Securities and Exchange Commission decided it was too aggressive. Tom Perkins (2002). Venture Capitalist for the early biotech firm Genentech, as cited in Chance, Nécessité, et Naïveté: Ingredients to create a new organizational form

I'm not talking about publicity, Bob. It's the glory you carry inside you the rest of your life knowing you've done something, something that made a difference. Benjamin Bratt as Lt. Colonel Mucci, from the fact-based movie “The Great Raid

[Wally] Gilbert’s lab … the tone of the place was casual, almost fiercely informal. Graduate students would drift into the lab around noon.., and often work until the wee hours of the morning or on through the next day. There would be mass excursions to the local Szechwan restaurant for meals, or sandwiches grabbed on the fly. DNA would be chopped and mixed and analyzed to the sounds of Joni Mitchell and the Rolling Stones. At about three or four a.m., the stereos would turn up very loud. People would be working madly. Stephen Hall, Science Journalist (1987). Describing Biogen co-founder Wally Gilbert’s style of lab, as cited in Chance, Nécessité, et Naïveté: Ingredients to create a new organizational form

Inside [Walter] Gilbert’s lab, the paramount concerns were novel information and speed, guided by both intense curiosity and skepticism about any answer. Powell & Sandholtz (2010). Description of the atmosphere in Biogen co-founder Walter Gilbert's laboratory, as cited in Chance, Nécessité, et Naïveté: Ingredients to create a new organizational form