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My 10 Favorite Innovation Quotes – Plus 1 – For Your Holiday Cheers!

As 2012 comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to find and share 10 of my favorite quotes on innovation. It turns out that narrowing down my top ten quotes wasn’t easy. A lot of people, famous and otherwise, seem to have a lot to say about innovation. And a lot of thought provoking and entertaining thoughts at that.

So let’s just call this my 2012 favorite picks, presented  in no particular order.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

~ Walt Disney

“The roots of great innovation are never just in the technology itself. They are always in the wider historical context. They require new ways of seeing. As Einstein put it, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” 

~ David Brooks, New York Times columnist

“Because, you know, resilience – if you think of it in terms of the Gold Rush, then you’d be pretty depressed right now because the last nugget of gold would be gone. But the good thing is, with innovation, there isn’t a last nugget. Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.” 

~ Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, Amazon

“Innovation almost always is not successful the first time out. You try something and it doesn’t work and it takes confidence to say we haven’t failed yet. … Ultimately you become commercially successful.” 

~ Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”

~ William Pollard

“Since we live in an age of innovation, a practical education must prepare a man for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined.”

~ Peter F. Drucker

“Keep in mind that imagination is at the heart of all innovation. Crush or constrain it and the fun will vanish.”

~Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” 

~ Woody Allen

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. 

~ Steve Jobs

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” 

~ George Bernard Shaw

I leave you this final quote (the 10 plus one) from the first American inventor – the honorable Benjamin Franklyn. This is not exactly a quote on innovation or success – but a nice way to end the list:

“ Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” 

~ Benjamin Franklin  

What’s your favorite innovation quote?

Happy Holidays!


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