A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Apple Store (2000s) (9/30)
“Fail fast, fail often” (business adage) (9/29)
“What did the college football player get on his SATs? Drool” (9/29)
“Cereal belongs in a bowl” (football joke) (9/29)
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan” (9/28)
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Entry from December 21, 2010
“A meeting is no substitute for progress”

"A meeting is no substitute for progress” has been cited in print since at least 1968. A company president (this might have once been true or it might have been a joke) used the inspirational slogans: “Intelligence is no substitute for information; enthusiasm is no substitute for capacity; willingness is no substitute for experience.” After several meetings, someone added: “A meeting is no substitute for progress.”

The book 1,001 logical laws... (1979) described this as one of “Van Roy’s Postulates,” but Van Roy was not identified. The saying “a meeting is no substitute for progress” has been used in business and government, wherever many meetings take place.


Generation Terrorists
Truisms for that Directors’ Meeting
Van Roy’s Postulates:
1. He who hesitates is bossed.
2. A meeting is no substitute for progress.
3. It isn’t who you know, it’s who you “yes.”
4. The wheels of progress are not turned by cranks.
5. The ignorant always seem so certain and the intelligent so uncertain.
6. It’s much easier to make money than it is to make a living.
7. A desk is a wastebasket with drawers.
8. The other man’s word is an opinion, yours is the truth, and your boss’s is law.

22 April 1968, Bulrington (NC) Daily Times-News, “People Make the News” by Don Metcalf, pg. 1B, col. 2:
The story also is told of a company that had a framed copy of its motto in its library.

The motto, which expressed the sentiments of the president, read as follows:

“Intelligence is no substitute for information; enthusiasm is no substitute for capacity; willingness is no substitute for experience.”

The motto was removed when, after a series of organizational meetings, some wag had added; “A meeting is no substitute for progress.”

10 August 1968, Tyrone (PA) Daily Herald, “Teen Action Group Holds 1st Project,” pg. 3, col. 4:
Richard Fisher, one of the organizers, explained, “having a meeting is no substitute for progress, so we’ve started to really work toward providing the community with a plac for its young persons to meet.”

Google Books
1,001 logical laws, accurate axioms, profound principles, trusty truisms, homey homilies, colorful corollaries, quotable quotes, and rambunctious ruminations for all walks of life
By John Peers and Gordon Bennett
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1979
Pg. 96:
Van Roy’s Postulates:
(1) He who hesitates is bossed.
(2) A meeting is no substitute for progress.
(3) It isn’t who you know, it’s who you “yes.”
(4) The wheels of progress are not turned by cranks.
(5) The ignorant always seem so certain and the intelligent so uncertain.

Google Books
“Help me become everything I can be” : proceedings
Edited by Mary Ellen Mulholland and Marion Wurster
New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind
1983
Pg. 93:
Remember l said earlier a meeting is no substitute for progress — it’s what you do afterwards that counts!

Google Groups: alt. magic
Newsgroups: alt.magic
From: (Todd A Neufeld)
Date: 21 Apr 94 15:54:30 GMT
Local: Thurs, Apr 21 1994 10:54 am
Subject: Roth’s ‘Expert Coin’ book

“A meeting is no substitute for progress.”

Google Books
Leadership Gold:
Lessons learned from a lifetime of leading

By John C. Maxwell
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson
2008
Pg. ?:
They hastily removed the slogans after someone added their own:
A meeting is no substitute for progress.
Anyone who has spent a lot of time in meetings knows that a meeting may take minutes, but it usually wastes hours.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Tuesday, December 21, 2010 • Permalink