Unexpectedly Intriguing!
26 June 2007

What wisdom can we learn from the past titans of industry? Better yet, what could we learn from the not-so-great among the CEOs of the past? To find out, we've drawn a random sampling of almost-great business knowledge from Simpson's quotations*. Why you ask? We don't know - it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Market research can establish beyond the shadow of a doubt that the egg is a sad and sorry product and that it obviously will not continue to sell. Because after all, eggs won’t stand up by themselves, they roll too easily, are too easily broken, require special packaging, look alike, are difficult to open, won’t stack on the shelf.

- Robert Pliskin
Vice President, Benton & Bowles

In fact, the only good thing about eggs is that the producers work for chicken feed....

It is our job to make women unhappy with what they have.

- B. Earl Puckett
President, Allied Stores

Because, as men already know, they're not unhappy enough with what they have already.

We hope this car will be less labor intensive, less material intensive, less everything intensive than anything we have done before.

- Roger B. Smith
Chairman, General Motors, on GM's new Saturn in 1985

As it happened, GM's Saturn proved to also be less sales intensive and less profit intensive than just about anything GM did before, so it appears to have wildly surpassed Roger Smith's grandest ambitions....

Smell that! That’s gasoline you smell in there. You can’t buy any perfume in the world that smells as sweet.

- William K. Whiteford
Chairman, Gulf Corporation

And at today's price of roughly $3.00 per U.S. gallon, it's a bargain compared to other perfumes! Let's get Earl Puckett working on this one right away!

People want economy and they will pay any price to get it.

- Lee Iacocca
Ford VP and future CEO of Chrysler, in 1974

Now, if only they could buy it from a U.S. automaker....

* That's James B. Simpson's Contemporary Quotations. Homer J. Simpson's contemporary quotations are quite, quite different....


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