They Said What?

For the fourth edition of They Said What? we have a better mix of humorous anecdotes heard around HBS this past week. We will continue to search for the most entertaining comments and would like to highly encourage all students to keep their ears open. Anyone who catches a comment that they would like to submit, please email it to

Marketing Professor Rajiv Lal, discussing the Xerox Book-In-Time case: “The last time I wrote a book, I went to my publisher, and he said `This is a great book, but it will only be read by your friends and family, and that is less than a thousand people.”
uss DeMartino (NH) on purchasing decisions: “I’m a cheap man.”
LEAD Professor Rakesh Khurana: “The one thing you will learn before you leave the Harvard Business School is to speak with complete certainty in situations of utter ambiguity.”

“When I was dating my wife, she said, `You talk a lot and you don’t ask many questions.'”

Walter Delph (NH): “I’m a pretty stubborn person.”

Professor Frances Frei: “More than half of being creative at work is taking something from somewhere else and bringing it to your company.”

Pat Brannelly (NH): “Yeah, I’m bitter.”

Ali Motamed (NH): “The guys with low productivity are going to get screwed. Well, not screwed, but hurt. They’re going to get hurt.”

Orri Hauksson (OD): “There is nothing more unfashionable than fashion that’s out of fashion.”
avid Schlendorf (NH) on purchasing decisions: “Women like a guy with a beer in his hand.”

Robert Kimmel (NH): “Sometimes the teams that aren’t the most effective, learn the most, as we learned in Crimson Greetings.”

Leonard Sussenbach (NH) on Calyx & Corolla flowers: “These collections are as dull as wallpaper. They are from the time of Josiah Wedgewood.”

Barry Chu (NH) on TiVo: “If you’re watching TV now, you can’t skip into the future.”

FRC Professor Greg Miller: “Some people I graduated with are teaching at Stanford, and let me just say, you guys are getting the better end of the deal.”

“I’d rather go bankrupt owing the debtors than having their money set aside for them in the bank.”

Jaime Aguirre (NH) on purchasing decisions: “I think a lot of people are like me. We want cheap, but not dirt cheap.”

During a discussion on MTV in Managing Service Operations, with two muted TVs in the front of the room showing the new Michael Jackson video:

Deb Huret (OA): “I never watched MTV when I was in the target 18-24 demographic. I watched it in high school, and I watch it even more now that I’m in grad school. How could you not watch it now, when you can watch Michael Jackson make his comeback?”

Professor Frances Frei: “So it’s the Miracle Channel?”

Wei Liou (OJ) gave a five-minute demonstration of trading signals from the pit of the Mercantile Exchange, making all kinds of symbols with his hands and face.

Professor Jan Hammond: “If this were first year, I would have thought you were playing bingo.”

Jenn Taylor (NH): “Starbucks is so 1999.”

Ari Haseotis (NH), defending his answer to a calculation in FRC: “I worked very hard on that. It took me a long time to come up with zero.”