Imagine standing at the edge of possibility, your heart racing, palms slightly damp—it’s the precipice where startups teeter between obscurity and success.

Now pause and breathe in the wisdom of titans who’ve navigated this thrilling highwire before.

This isn’t just a jumble of words; it’s a curation of startup quotes that illuminate the path of entrepreneurial ventures, echoing the resilience and audacity required to bring visions to life.

Whether you’re a hustling solopreneur or at the helm of the next big venture, these pearls of insight offer more than mere encouragement—they are a distillation of founder wisdom and growth mindset.

By diving into this compendium, you’ll be privy to lessons from the likes of Steve Jobs to Sheryl Sandberg—industry leaders whose words spark revolutions.

Not only will you find fuel for your motivational fire, but you’ll also glean strategic mantras that have powered Silicon Valley’s disruptors and global game-changers.

What awaits is a wealth of inspiration, a guide through the entrepreneurial journey—where every quote serves as a lantern in the often-unpredictable odyssey of business growth.

Lean in, let these maxims steer your course, embolden your spirit, and remind you why you embarked on this startup adventure.

Enjoy these startup quotes

  • “If you tune it so that you have zero chance of failure, you usually also have zero chance of success. The key is to look at ways for when you get to your failure checkpoint, you know to stop.”

Reid Hoffman – Co-founder, LinkedIn

  • “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”

Josh James – CEO and Co-Founder, Omniture

  • “Starting a company is like getting married and having a kid.”

Matt Brezina – Co-Founder, XOBNI

  • “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”

Mark Zuckerberg -Founder and CEO, Facebook

  • “Remain self-funded as long as possible.”

Garrett Camp – Co-founder, Uber, StumbleUpon, and Expa

  • “Openly share and talk to people about your idea. Use their lack of interest or doubt to fuel your motivation to make it happen.”

Todd Garland – Founder, BuySellAds

  • “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.|

Bill Gates – Founder and former CEO, Microsoft

  • “If you believe in something, work nights and weekends, it won’t feel like work.”

Kevin Rose – Founder, Digg

  • “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

Drew Houston – Co-Founder and CEO, Dropbox

  • “No growth hack, brilliant marketing idea, or sales team can save you long-term if you don’t have a sufficiently good product.”

Sam Altman – President, Y Combinator and Co-Founder, Loopt

  • “Make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.”

Tim Westergen – Founder, Pandora

  • “If you are working on a product that’s going to be consumer-facing, then feedback is invaluable. You should be out there being brave and talking to people and asking for feedback as much as possible.”

Emily Brooke – Co-founder, Blaze

  • “When people are placed in positions slightly above what they expect, they are apt to excel.”

Richard Branson – Virgin Group

  • “The product that twins is the one that bridges customers to the future, not the one that requires a giant leap.”

Aaron Levie – Co-Founder, Box

  • “Even if you don’t have the perfect idea to begin with, you can likely adapt.”

Victoria Ransom – Co-Founder, Wildfire Interactive

  • “In carrying out e-commerce, the most important thing is to keep doing what you are doing right now with passion, to keep it up.”

Jack Ma – Founder, Alibaba Group

  • “If you know too much before the start, then you will get overwhelmed. Come up with an original idea, and don’t copy because there will be no passion. You need that otherworldly passion. Just start.”

Jeni Britton Bauer – Founder, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

  • “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”

Mary Kay Ash – Founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics

  • “The last 10% it takes to launch something takes as much energy as the first 90%.”

Rob Kalin – Co-Founder, Etsy

  • “Starting a company extracts so much energy and conviction that not having a clear-cut goal and meaningful mission can hamper your success. This is why, at Virta, our mission was clearly defined: reverse early type-2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.”

Sami Inkinen – Co-founder, Virta Health

  • “Don’t let others convince you that the idea is good when your gut tells you it’s bad.”

Kevin Rose – Co-founder, Digg

  • “I’m always throwing out ideas, so it’s not creativity, It’s just volume.”

Ben Huh – Founder, Cheezburger Network

  • “Always deliver more than expected.”

Larry Page – Co-Founder, Google

  • “I find it hard to manage somebody’s work unless I have an intimate knowledge of how to do it myself. “

Justin Kan – Co-Founder, Justin.Tv

  • “Mistakes will not end your business. If you are nimble and willing to listen to constructive criticism you can excel by learning and evolving.”

Meridith Valiando Rojas – co-founder and CEO, DigiTour Media

  • “When in doubt, bootstrap. Using your own personal resources is the easiest way to start a business. You don’t have to convince investors about the merits of your idea. You just have to convince yourself.”

Ryan Holmes – Co-founder, Hootsuite

  • “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”

Dave Thomas – Founder, Wendy’s

  • “If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough.”

Chris Dixon – Co-Founder, Hunch

  • “Ignore the hype of the startups that you see in the press. Mostly, it’s a pack of lies. Half of these startups will be dead in a year. So, focus on building your business so you can be the one left standing.”

Jules Pieri – Co-founder and CEO, The Grommet

  • “Make something people want” includes making a company that people want to work for.”

Still with us? Good. There are more startup quotes in here for you.

Sahil Lavingia – Founder, Gumroad

  • “User experience is everything. It always has been, but it’s undervalued and underinvested in. If you don’t know user-centered design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board.”

Evan Williams – Co-Founder, Twitter

  • “As an entrepreneur, you have to be OK with failure. If you’re not failing, you’re likely not pushing yourself hard enough.”

Alexa von Tobel – Founder, LearnVest

  • When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.

Larry Ellison – Co-Founder, Oracle

  • “Selling is not a pushy, winner-takes-all, macho act. It is an empathy-led, process-driven, and knowledge-intensive discipline. Because, in the end, people buy from people.”

Subroto Bagchi – Co-founder, Mindtree

  • “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”

Jeff Bezos – Founder and CEO, Amazon

  • “The strategy is to first know what you don’t know, the tactic is to grind, and the value is to remember: there are plenty of places to innovate.”

David Friedberg – Founder, Weatherbill

  • “Follow the cream of the crop in your area of online expertise and learn from them. Network with them.”

Mark Forrester – Co-Founder, Woothemes

  • “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”

Marc Benioff – CEO, Salesforce

  • “When you are building a startup, it’s difficult. Particularly, a startup that is expanding at the rate of Tinder. You have to give 100%, and you have to be committed. Solving the problem has to be personal or else you’re going to disintegrate.”

Sean Rad – Co-founder, Tinder, Inc.

  • “Document everything. People are voracious for the products of productive people.”

Kevin Hale – Co-Founder, Wufoo

  • “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

Drew Houston – Co-Founder and CEO, Dropbox

  • “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”

Marc Benioff – Founder, Salesforce

  • “If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.”

Brian Chesky – Co-founder, Airbnb

  • “Spread the word in a way that was natural and not spammy.”

Ade Olonoh – Co-Founder, Formspring

  • “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Steve Jobs – Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Apple

  • “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.”

Anthony Volodkin – Founder, Hype Maching

  • “If you can offer a free tier that provides a lot of value, it will naturally help your product to spread much more rapidly.”

Melanie Perkins – Co-founder, Canva

  • “Friends don’t always make the bet of business partners.”

Chris Campbell – Co-founder, Wufoo

  • “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”

Tony Hsieh – CEO, Zappos

  • “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

Elon Musk – CEO, SpaceX and Tesla Motors

  • “Don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets.”

Jas Bagniewski – Co-Founder, Eve Sleep

  • “The cost of hiring someone bad is so much greater than missing out on someone good.”

Joe Kraus – Partner, Google Ventures

FAQ On Startup Quotes

Why do startup founders turn to quotes for inspiration?

It’s a blend of looking for a spark and seeking validation. Founders are often in uncharted waters, and hearing wisdom from pros like Elon Musk or Richard Branson can be a lighthouse guiding their hustle.

Quotes act like concentrated energy boosts, reminding us that the wild startup ride is shared.

How do startup quotes fuel entrepreneurial motivation?

A single line, powerful and pithy, has this knack to ignite minds. It’s the spirit captured—an entrepreneurial mantra—that lifts us over hurdles, pushing us toward innovation and business growth.

They’re morsels of experience from those who’ve crafted their venture stories into legacies.

Are there any startup quotes that focus on failure?

Oh, absolutely. The startup journey is rife with challenges—almost a romance with failure. Greats like Steve Jobs have often spoken about the power of failure to teach and redirect.

Startups cling to these quotes as badges of honor and reminders that every setback refines their vision.

Which startup founders are frequently quoted in the startup community?

The usual suspects include Silicon Valley giants—think Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and networking mavens like Sheryl Sandberg.

They’re the narrators of entrepreneurial lore, with every quote a chapter in the playbook of startup success.

Can startup quotes improve team morale and productivity?

They’re almost like secret weapons. The right quote is a rallying cry, a trigger for team inspiration.

It reinforces the startup culture, this idea that they’re part of something monumental. Teams that harness these shared beliefs often see spikes in unity and drive.

Where can I find a collection of the best startup quotes?

Look no further than entrepreneurial publications—ForbesEntrepreneur Magazine, and platforms like TED Talks.

Online, myriad motivational sites and social media accounts are treasure troves for startup aphorisms. And hey, don’t overlook the classic business books for some hidden gems.

Do quotes from historical figures apply to modern startups?

History might not repeat, but it sure does rhyme. Legendary minds across time zones, like Einstein or Edison, have left us nuggets of brilliance.

These insights cut across eras, often perfectly fitting into the puzzle of modern entrepreneurial challenges.

Are there any quotes specifically about women in startups?

Yes, and amen to that! Female titans of industry like Sheryl Sandberg encourage through their journey.

Their words often reflect the unique hurdles faced by women and the iron-clad resilience it takes to be a woman in the startup innovation arena.

How to use startup quotes wisely in my business strategy?

Sprinkle them into your game plan judiciously. Whether it’s boosting morale during meetings or setting the tone in company communications, let these strategic mantras play their role.

But remember, it’s about more than just sounding smart; it’s the intention behind them that counts.

What’s the impact of startup quotes on investors and stakeholders?

Well, everyone loves a good story—investors and stakeholders included. Dropping a well-timed quote can be a power move, displaying confidence and a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial script.

It presents you as part of that elite venture narrative, and hey, who doesn’t want to invest in the protagonist of a success story?


We’ve trekked across the rugged landscape of startup quotes, pocketing pearls of wisdom like intrepid explorers. The voices of Silicon Valley sages and business behemoths have resounded through each line, pulling back the curtain to reveal the raw, unscripted truths of the entrepreneurial drama.

Here’s the crux—these snippets of inspiration are way more than catchy phrases on a coffee mug. They serve as navigational stars in the often murky skies of startup ventures. Go ahead, pin them up on your wall, make them a staple of your morning routine, or let them be the mantra that steadies the ship when waters get choppy.

This collection of startup quotes? It’s your arsenal. Each one is a tried-and-tested strategic ally in your quest for growth, an innovation trigger, and a potential morale booster. Embrace them as a companion, an echo of the entrepreneurial spirit, as you forge ahead and make that dent in the universe you’ve always imagined.

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I'm the manager behind the Upcut Studio team. I've been involved in content marketing for quite a few years helping startups grow.