Norman Augustine, fully Norman Ralph Augustine

Norman
Augustine, fully Norman Ralph Augustine
1935

American Aerospace Businessman, Chairman of the Review of United States Human Space Flights Plans Committee and Under Secretary of the Army

Author Quotes

Law Number XX: In any given year, Congress will appropriate the amount of funding approved the prior year plus three-fourths of whatever change the administration requests, minus 4-percent tax.

Law Number XXXV: The weaker the data available upon which to base one's conclusion, the greater the precision which should be quoted in order to give the data authenticity.

These nations and many others have rightly concluded that the way to win in the world economy is by doing a better job of educating and innovating. And America? We?re losing our edge. Innovation is something we?ve always been good at. Until now, we?ve been the undisputed leaders when it comes to finding new ideas through basic research, translating those ideas into products through world-class engineering, and getting to market first through aggressive entrepreneurship.

Law Number XXI: It's easy to get a loan unless you need it.

Law Number XXXVI: The thickness of the proposal required to win a multimillion dollar contract is about one millimeter per million dollars. If all the proposals conforming to this standard were piled on top of each other at the bottom of the Grand Canyon it would probably be a good idea.

Too often technology is perceived as the problem rather than the solution; as something to be avoided rather than embraced. This is about as logical as my daughter's observing, while our family was driving through an unfamiliar city, "Trying to read a map while driving causes all the traffic lights to turn green."

Law Number XXII: If stock market experts were so expert, they would be buying stock, not selling advice.

Law Number XXXVII: Ninety percent of the time things will turn out worse than you expect. The other 10 percent of the time you had no right to expect so much.

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing.

Law Number XXIII: Any task can be completed in only one-third more time than is currently estimated.

Law Number XXXVIII: The early bird gets the worm. The early worm ... gets eaten.

Law Number XXIV: The only thing more costly than stretching the schedule of an established project is accelerating it, which is itself the most costly action known to man.

Never promise to complete any project within six months of the end of the year -- in either direction.

Law Number XXIX: Executives who do not produce successful results hold on to their jobs only about five years. Those who produce effective results hang on about half a decade.

Ninety percent of the time things will turn out worse than you expect. The other 10 percent of the time you had no right to expect so much.

Law Number XXV: A revised schedule is to business what a new season is to an athlete or a new canvas to an artist.

One often hears the remark "He talks too much." But when did anyone last hear the criticism "He listens too much?"

Law Number XXVI: If a sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance.

Part of the problem is the lack of priority U.S. parents place on core education. But there are also problems inherent in our public education system. We simply don?t have enough qualified math and science teachers. Many of those teaching math and science have never taken a university-level course in those subjects.

Law Number XXVII: Rank does not intimidate hardware. Neither does the lack of rank.

People do not win people fights. Lawyers do.

Law Number XXVIII: It is better to be the reorganizer than the reorganize.

Right now the U.S. is not responding to change as we need to. But there is a way forward. Five years ago, I was part of a commission that studied U.S. competitiveness. We issued a report called Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which made some important recommendations and specific actions to implement them. The recommendations were: Improve K-12 science and math education. Invest in long-term basic research. Attract and retain the best and brightest students, scientists and engineers in the U.S. and around the world. Create and sustain incentives for innovation and research investment.

Law Number XXX: By the time the people asking the questions are ready for the answers, the people doing the work have lost track of the questions.

That?s how we rose to prominence. And that?s where we?re falling behind now. The statistics tell the story. U.S. consumers spend significantly more on potato chips than the U.S. government devotes to energy R&D. In 2009, for the first time, over half of U.S. patents were awarded to non-U.S. companies. China has replaced the U.S. as the world?s number one high-technology exporter. Between 1996 and 1999, 157 new drugs were approved in the U.S. Ten years later, that number had dropped to 74. The World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. #48 in quality of math and science education.

Author Picture
First Name
Norman
Last Name
Augustine, fully Norman Ralph Augustine
Birth Date
1935
Bio

American Aerospace Businessman, Chairman of the Review of United States Human Space Flights Plans Committee and Under Secretary of the Army