Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

The merit rating nourishes short-term performance, annihilates long-term planning, builds fear, demolishes teamwork, [and] nourishes rivalry and politics. It leaves people bitter, crushed, bruised, battered, desolate, despondent, dejected, feeling inferior, some even depressed, unfit for work for weeks after receipt of rating, unable to comprehend why they are inferior. It is unfair, as it ascribes to the people in a group differences that may be caused totally by the system that they work in.


our system of make-and-inspect, which if applied to making toast would be expressed: “You burn, I’ll scrape.”


The aim of education should be to preserve and nurture the yearning for learning that a child is born with. Grades and gold stars destroy this yearning for learning.


There is no substitute for knowledge.


It is easy to date an earthquake, but not an economic decline.


Does the customer invent new product or service? The customer generates nothing. No customer asked for electric lights. There was gas and gas mantles, which gave good light. The first electric lights had carbon filaments. They were fragile and inefficient. No customer asked for photography. No customer asked for the telegraph, nor for a telephone. No customer asked for an automobile. We have horses: what could be better’? No customer asked for pneumatic tires. Tires are made of rubber. It is silly to think of riding on air. The first pneumatic tires in the United States were not good. The user had to carry with him rubber cement, plugs, and a pump, and know how to use them.


The moral is that it is necessary to innovate, to predict needs of the customer, give him more. He that innovates and is lucky will take the market.


No defects, no jobs. Absence of defects does not necessarily build business… Something more is required.


The System of Profound Knowledge provides a lens. It provides a new map of theory by which to understand and optimize that we work in, and thus to make a contribution to the whole country.


A system must have an aim. Without an aim, there is no system.