[Ads-l] failure is not an option

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 25 00:00:56 UTC 2021

Excellent work, James. Here is a 1976 interview with a successful
business man who says: "I don't see failure as an option".

Date: April 22, 1976
Newspaper: The San Francisco Examiner
Newspaper Location: San Francisco, California
Article: Success calls for a total commitment
Quote Page 52, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
John H. Johnson, one of the nation' most successful black businessmen,
says "Failure is a word I don't accept." He is editor and publisher of
the Johnson Publishing Co., which publishes Ebony, Jet, Ebony Jr., and
other black magazines. He recently was interviewed by the Harvard
Business Review.
. . .
Johnson: I don't see failure as an option. If Ebony didn't succeed, it
was going to destroy my life. So I had total commitment, my whole life
depended on Ebony. I had no options.
[End excerpt]


On Sun, Jan 24, 2021 at 5:40 PM James Eric Lawson <jel at nventure.com> wrote:
> A report in (paywalled) 01 May 1980 The Rock Island Argus, p 9,
> left col., toward bottom,
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/665559582/?terms=%22failure%20is%20not%20an%20option%22&match=2
> quotes US Energy Dept. Sec. Charles W. Duncan Jr. from a "news conference":
> "We don't have the luxury of having failure as an option," he said.
> "It's going to be until the turn of the century before we have
> substantial returns from alternative energy sources."
> Variations on the theme follow, including this from a witness for the
> July 21, 1981 Small, high technology firms, inventors, and innovation
> hearings before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the
> Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives,
> Ninety-seventh Congress
> https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015082338743&view=1up&seq=67&q1=not%20an%20option
> "Failure was not an option available to them." p 63.
> On 1/24/21 1:14 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > Conventional wiz credits this to the movie _Apollo 13_ (1995).
> >
> > Cf.:
> >
> > 1983 _Trenton Times_ (Apr. 11) 11 : We worked on the premise that all this
> > could be done. Failure was never an option.
> >
> > What's surprising is that nothing earlier has appeared.  I certainly never
> > heard "Failure is not an option" till after the movie was released,
> >
> > JL
> >
> >
> --
> James Eric Lawson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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