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1. Profit is like health, necessary but not the reason why we live.

Anonymous. Statement by the London-based St. Luke’s Advertising Agency. Management Today (April 1999)


2. Where profit is, loss is hidden nearby.

Anonymous.Japanese proverb.


3. Clearly, we’re a not-for-profit company.

Jeff Bezos (b. 1964) U.S. founder and C.E.O. of Referring to Amazon.Com’s failure to become profitable. Sunday Telegraph (London) (July 2000)


4. Undue profits are not made; there are no esoteric tricks that enable arbitrageurs to outwit the system.

Ivan Boesky (b. 1937) U.S. financier convicted of insider dealing in 1987. Mergia Mania (1985)


5. Civilization and profits go hand in hand.

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) U.S. president. Speech (November 1920)


6. The blur of business has created a new economic model in which return increase, rather than diminish.

Stan Davis (b. 1939) U.S. business author. Blur (co-written with Christopher Meyer; 1998)


7. The idea of making workers share in profits is a very attractive one…But the practical formula for such sharing has not yet found.

Henri Fayol (1841-1925) French business executive. General and Industrial Management (1916)


8. The idea that commerce and profit may actually pulling in the same direction is difficult for some people to accept.

Henry Ford (1919-87) U.S. automobile manufacturer and C.E.O. of Ford Motor Company. Speech (July 1, 1969)


9.No good entrepreneur should wish to sacrifice long-term interest for the sake of short-term profits.

Indira Gandhi (1917-84) Indian prime minister. Remark (March 14, 1970)


10. You borrow money at a certain rate and invest it at a higher rate and pocket the difference. It’s that simple.

Roberto Goizueta (1931-97) U.S. C.E.O. of Coca-Cola. Quoted in Fortune (October 1997)


11. Because business equates success or failure with profitability, the superficial conclusion is that profit is the sole objective…the difficult decisions…are those involving the conditions under which profit may be realized.

Crawford H. Grennewalt (d. 1993) U.S. president of DuPoint. “A Philosophy of Business Leadership,” The Conference Board Challenge to Business Industry Leaders Speak Their Minds (Peter Krase and Richard E. Cavanagh, eds; 2000)


12. Profits has to be a means to other ends rather than an end in itself.

Charles Handy (b. 1932) British business executive and author. The Empty Raincoat: Making Sense of the Future (1994)


13. You’ve made a mistake. You forget the little brackets on the bottom line.

Cathy Hughes (b. 1947?) U.S. broadcasting executive. Referring to her company’s first year in profit. Forbes (September 1999)


14. The bottom line is in heaven.

Edwin Land (1909-91) U.S. inventor and founder of Polaroid Corporation. Shareholder meeting (1977)


15. I just never got involved with the cash flow thing. My attitude was creativity will see me through.

Adrienne Landau (b. 1950) U.S. fashion designer. Forbes (October 2000)


16. Company directors always have to prove that things are going better. They are judged like politician, only worse, because elections are held every three months.

Andre Leysen (b. 1927) French chairman of Agfa-Gevaert. Quoted in Euromanagement (H. Bloom, R. Claori, and P. de Woot; 1998)


17. Short-term can be terminal.

Mark McCormack (1930-2003) U.S. entrepreneur, founder and C.E.O. of the International Management Group. Referring to error of commitment to short-term profitability.What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984)


18. When a company’s profit slip, its position is tarnished. People are reluctant to buy from companies in financial trouble.

Regis McKenna (b. 1939) U.S. marketing entrepreneur and chairman of The McKenna Group. Relationship Marketing (1992)


19. We could have shown higher profits, but we’ve always put our profits back into starting things. We don’t get credit for these until they start to turn in a profit.

Rupert Murdoch (b. 1931) U.S. C.E.O. of News Corporation. Forbes (June 1998)


20. Overhead is something that creeps in. It’s not something that overtakes you overnight.

David Packard (1912-96) U.S. entrepreneur and cofounder of Hewlett-Packard. The HP way (1995)


21. If there is excitement in their lives, it is contained in the figures on the profit and loss sheet. What an indictment.

Anita Roddick (b. 1942) British entrepreneur and founder of The Body Shop. Referring to companies run by accountants. Body and Soul (co-written with Russell Miller; 1991)


22. My argument is: Keep the bloody bottom line at the bottom. That’s where it should be.

Anita Roddick (b. 1942) British entrepreneur and founder of The Body Shop. Quoted in The Adventure Capitalists (Jeff Grout and Lynne Curry; 1998)


23. Profits are lifeblood of the economic system, the magic elixir upon which progress and all good things depend ultimately. But one man’s lifeblood is another man’s cancer.

Paul Samuelson (b. 1915) U.S. economist and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Economics.Speech, Forum of European and American Economists, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Quoted in Time (August 16, 1976)


24. No manufacturing company will ever do well if they are concerned only with calculating profits.

Shoichiro Toyoda (b. 1925) Japanese chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation. Quoted in How to Manage (Ray Wild; 1995)


25. I’ve always believed in cash flow rather than stated profits, because when you state profits you’ve got to pay 50% to the government.

Ted Turner (b. 1938) U.S. founder of Turner Broadcasting Systems. Broadcasting (August 1987)