Competitive intelligence quotations

For a bit of fun, here are some quotations relevant to competitive intelligence. Some are my own favourites, some are from this ning discussion.

  • "It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which vital". (Sherlock Holmes)
  • "Data! Data! Data! I can't make bricks without clay". (Sherlock Holmes)
  • "They say that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains. It's a very bad definition, but it does apply to detective work". (Sherlock Holmes)
  • "No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution". (Niccolo Machiavelli)
  • "The reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move, and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men, is foreknowledge". (Sun Tzu)
  • "All warfare is based on deception". (Sun Tzu)
  • "The common-sense explanation. I’ve found, you know, that that is so often right”. (Miss Marple)
  • "It is a profound belief of mine that if you can induce a person to talk to you for long enough, on any subject whatever, sooner or later they will give themselves away". (Poirot)
  • "Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise...Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency...Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope...Our four...no...Amongst our weapons...Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise...". (The Spanish Inquisition)
  • "Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated". (Sun Tzu)
  • "You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles". (Sherlock Holmes)
  • "Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business". (Sun Tzu)
  • "The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet". (William Gibson)
  • "He who does not contemplate the future is destined to be overwhelmed by it". (H G Wells)
  • "For hundreds of years, one of the central planks of a decent education was being taught how to find information. In barely a half-dozen years, the internet has made this skill all but obsolete. Suddenly, it's sorting information that's become crucial - learning to identify flecks of gold among the hectares of bullshit. Critical, sceptical, analytical thinking has never been more important". (Matt Price)
  • "Shake and shake and shake the bottle, First none'll come and then a lot'll". (Ogden Nash)
  • "There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know There are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know". (Donald Rumsfeld)
  • "Your ability to learn faster than your competition is your only sustainable competitive advantage". (Arie De Gues)
  • "What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what 'the stars foretell', avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable 'verdict of history' - what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts". (Robert A. Heinlein)
  • "Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom". (C H Spurgeon)
  • "It is wiser to find out than to suppose". (Mark Twain)
  • "It is pardonable to be defeated but never to be surprised". (Frederick the Great)
  • "We do not deal with certainties. The world of intelligence is the world of probabilities. Getting the information is not usually the most difficult task. What is difficult is putting upon it the right interpretation. Analysis is everything. James Bond is not the real world". (Issur Harel)