They Said What

This issue, we turn our attention to Assistant Professor Huw Pill in the Business, Government, and the International Economy Department. Thanks to all those who submitted quotes from their classes this week. Submissions can be submitted from anyone and everyone by email to

Assistant Professor Huw Pill (BGIE):
“I’m not doing the case study thing here. I’m basically telling you some stuff.”
“We don’t trade with other planets.”
“Let me just tell you two things that you don’t want to know, but I will tell you anyway.”
“In traditional HBS fashion we give you the hardest thing first to make you worry, and then you’ll never see anything that hard again.”
“What else is Nixon doing in 1971? He’s bombing Cambodia without telling us. He’s blowing up a whole country without getting permission from Congress. He’s bugging all the Democrats.”
“Nixon said, ‘I am not a crook,’ and he lied about that, so you shouldn’t take everything he said at face value.”
[On brand equity with Coke and Pepsi]

Ariba Tanvir (NH): “They’ve taken the product away from being a functional product into an emotional one. It’s an emotional issue. It’s like marrying a man. You don’t judge a man based on a weighted average of his looks, income, and car.”

Assistant Professor Erik Stafford (Finance): “There might be some of you who care about this happiness thing… it’s pretty well correlated with wealth. You might want to think about NPV when you enter into a marriage.”

Sisto Merolla (OJ) in Customer Behavior Lab: “You look at this ad, and you say, ‘I can have these silky legs. I can reveal the goddess in me.'”

Associate Professor Ashish Nanda (Negotiation, Organizations & Markets), going around the room: “What does the name ‘McKinsey’ mean to you?”

Jennifer Dostert (OE): “Rejection.”

Dan Shanoff (OA): “It’s not…un-overcome-able.”
Channels to Market Professor David Bell: “In Europe you only have refrigerators that are only this size. [Makes a small box with his hands.] You can only keep a four-hour [food] supply. It’s charming, but not very useful.”

At the beginning of a class, Bell was preparing to summarize the last class’s learning: “Just to ease your minds, our opener is right here [pointing at a student], so the rest of you can listen.”
Bell: “Should you always do what your best customers want? Let’s says a good customer comes to you and says, ‘You should sell milk.’ And you say, ‘But we’re Circuit City?!?'”

John Berger (NH): “Unions are bad for the economy.”

Eric Hiller (NH): “Microsoft writes trash.”

Robert Kimmel (NH): “And the other thing I was going to say just totally escapes me.”