95 Charles Kettering Quotes from Famous American Inventor

Charles Kettering, known as “Boss Ket,” began his journey into inventions by studying a telephone he bought as a young boy.

Born in 1876, he overcame health challenges to earn an engineering degree and invented the first electric cash register.

Kettering’s genius really shone in the automotive world. Cars back in the early 1900s lacked safety features and were started by hand cranks, which were risky.

After a tragic accident, Kettering, working at his company DELCO, developed the self-starter motor using a key.

This invention made cars much safer, boosting their sales. He later joined General Motors and helped create a lightweight diesel engine for modern trains.

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Kettering’s innovations extended to medicine, transportation and technology.

He supported education, founding several institutions and contributed to cancer research.

Kettering’s work greatly impacted American life, leaving a legacy of practical inventions.

Let’s go through the list of the best Charles Kettering quotes.

Best Charles Kettering Quotes


People are very open-minded about new things – as long as they’re exactly like the old ones. ~ Charles Kettering.


The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress. ~ Charles Kettering.


Logic is a system whereby one may go wrong with confidence. ~ Charles Kettering.


Learn how to fail intelligently. ~ Charles Kettering.

Obsolescence is a factor which says that the new thing I bring you is worth more than the unused value of the old thing. ~ Charles Kettering.


Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future. ~ Charles Kettering.

An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously. ~ Charles Kettering.


It is easy to build a philosophy – it doesn’t have to run. ~ Charles Kettering.

My definition of an educated man is the fellow who knows the right thing to do at the time it has to be done. You can be sincere and still be stupid. ~ Charles Kettering.

The price of progress is trouble. ~ Charles Kettering.


People see the wrongness in an idea much quicker that the rightness. ~ Charles Kettering.

Motivational Charles Kettering Quotes

An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots. ~ Charles Kettering.

Problems are the price of progress. Don’t bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me. ~ Charles F. Kettering.

The simplest way to assure sales is to keep changing the product the market for new things is indefinitely elastic. One of the fundamental purposes of advertising, styling, and research is to foster a healthy dissatisfaction. ~ Charles Kettering.


Research means that you don’t know, but are willing to find out. ~ Charles Kettering.

The typical eye sees the ten per cent bad of an idea and overlooks the ninety per cent good. ~ Charles Kettering.

Famous Charles Kettering Quotes

I am not interested in the past. I am interested in the future, for that is where I expect to spend the rest of my life. ~ Charles Kettering.

I often say that research is a way of finding out what you are going to do when you can’t keep on doing what you are doing now. ~ Charles Kettering.


We must use the past as a guidepost, not as a hitching post. ~ Charles Kettering.

I object to people running down the future. I am going to live all the rest of my life there. ~ Charles Kettering.

The only time you mustn’t fail is the last time you try. ~ Charles Kettering.

We need to teach the highly educated man that it is not a disgrace to fail and that he must analyze every failure to find its cause. He must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. ~ Charles Kettering.

I expect to spend the rest of my life in the future, so I want to be reasonably sure of what kind of future it’s going to be. That is my reason for planning. ~ Charles Kettering.

Action without intelligence is a form of insanity, but intelligence without action is the greatest form of stupidity in the world. ~ Charles F. Kettering.


People think of the inventor as a screwball, but no one ever asks the inventor what he thinks of other people. ~ Charles Kettering.

If a fellow wants to be nobody in the business world, let him neglect sending the mailman to somebody on his behalf. ~ Charles Kettering.

Top Charles Kettering Quotes

I could do nothing without my problems; they toughen my mind. In fact, I tell my assistants not to bring me their successes for they weaken me, but rather to bring me their problems, for they strengthen me. ~ Charles Kettering.

There will always be a frontier where there is an open mind and a willing hand. ~ Charles Kettering.

Research is an organized method for keeping you reasonably dissatisfied with what you have. ~ Charles Kettering.


In many ways ideas are more important than people – they are much more permanent. ~ Charles Kettering.

The person who doesn’t know something can’t be done will often find a way to go ahead and do it. ~ Charles Kettering.

All human development, no matter what form it takes, must be outside the rules; otherwise we would never have anything new. ~ Charles Kettering.

If I have had any success, it’s due to luck, but I notice the harder I work, the luckier I get. ~ Charles Kettering.

One of the things we have to be thankful for is that we don’t get as much government as we pay for. ~ Charles Kettering.

If I want to stop a research program I can always do it by getting a few experts to sit in on the subject, because they know right away that it was a fool thing to try in the first place. ~ Charles Franklin Kettering.

We are just in the kindergarten of uncovering things; there is no down curve in science. ~ Charles Kettering.

Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress. ~ Charles Kettering.

Popular Charles Kettering Quotes

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. ~ Charles Kettering.

I’ve never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down. ~ Charles Kettering.

Whenever you look at a piece of work and you think the fellow was crazy, then you want to pay some attention to that. One of you is likely to be, and you had better find out which one it is. It makes an awful lot of difference. ~ Charles Kettering.

Don’t bring anything to me but trouble. ~ Charles Kettering.


Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice. ~ Charles Kettering.

The biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work. ~ Charles Kettering.

Every great improvement has come after repeated failures. Virtually nothing comes out right the first time. Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success. ~ Charles Kettering.

I don’t want men of experience working for me. The experienced man is always telling me why something can’t be done. The fellow who has not had any experience is so dumb he doesn’t know a thing can’t be done – and he goes ahead and does it. ~ Charles Kettering.

And there is the point exactly, we are all the time blaming difficulties on to something else. Our real trouble is that we are too soft to solve the problem. ~ Charles Kettering.

There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier. ~ Charles Kettering.

Industry prospers when it offers people articles which they want more than they want anything they now have. The fact is that people never buy what they need. They buy what they want. ~ Charles Kettering.

Don’t be afraid to stumble. Any inventor will tell you that you don’t follow a plan far before you strike a snag. If, out of 100 ideas you get one that works, it’s enough. ~ Charles Kettering.

The future can be anything we want it to be, providing we have the faith and that we realize that peace, no less than war, required blood and sweat and tears. ~ Charles Kettering.

Great Charles Kettering Quotes

Bankers regard research as most dangerous a thing that makes banking hazardous due to the rapid changes it brings about in industry. ~ Charles Kettering.

We have a lot of people revolutionizing the world because they’ve never had to present a working model. ~ Charles Kettering.

Why is the human skull as dense as it is? Nowadays we can send a message around the world in one-seventh of a second, but it takes years to drive an idea through a quarter-inch of human skull. ~ Charles Kettering.

99 percent of success is built on failure. ~ Charles Kettering.

The difference between intelligence and an education is this-that intelligence will make you a good living. ~ Charles Kettering.

We must look forward to the future as that is where most of us will be spending the rest of our lives. ~ Charles Kettering.

You are always too late with a development if you are so slow that people demand it before you yourself recognize it. The research department should have foreseen what was necessary and had it ready to a point where people never knew they wanted it until it was made available to them. ~ Charles Kettering.

A problem thoroughly understood is always fairly simple. Found your opinions on facts, not prejudices. We know too many things that are not true. ~ Charles Kettering.

I think that the greatest education in the world is the education which helps one to be able to do the right things at the time it has to be done. ~ Charles Kettering.

What I believe is that, by proper effort, we make the future almost anything we want to make it. ~ Charles Kettering.

Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down. ~ Charles Kettering.

This problem, too, will look simple after it is solved. ~ Charles Kettering.

Powerful Charles Kettering Quotes

We have reason not to be afraid of the machine, for there is always constructive change, the enemy of machines, making them change to fit new conditions. ~ Charles Kettering.

It is man’s destiny to ponder on the riddle of existence and, as a byproduct of his wonderment, to create a new life on this earth. ~ Charles Kettering.

If we taught music the way we try to teach engineering, in an unbroken four year course, we could end up with all theory and no music. When we study music, we start to practice from the beginning, and we practice for the entire time… ~ Charles Kettering.

It is the ‘follow through’ that makes the great difference between ultimate success and failure, because it is so easy to stop. ~ Charles Kettering.

The sure ways to create new ventures of discovery are to keep an open mind. ~ Charles Kettering.

The opportunities of man are limited only by his imagination. But so few have imagination that there are ten thousand fiddlers to one composer. ~ Charles Kettering.

Do not bring me your successes; they weaken me. Bring me your problems; they strengthen me. ~ Charles Kettering.

Inspiring Charles Kettering Quotes

No one would have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm. ~ Charles Kettering.

Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax. ~ Charles Kettering.

It is not a disgrace to fail. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. ~ Charles Kettering.

You can send a message around the world in one-fifth of a second, yet it may take years for it to get from the outside of a man’s head to the inside. ~ Charles Kettering.

Every honest researcher I know admits he’s just a professional amateur. He’s doing whatever he’s doing for the first time. That makes him an amateur. He has sense enough to know that he’s going to have a lot of trouble, so that makes him a professional. ~ Charles Kettering.

There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it. ~ Charles Kettering.

In America we can say what we think, and even if we can’t think, we can say it anyhow. ~ Charles Kettering.

If you’re doing something the same way you have been doing it for ten years, the chances are you are doing it wrong. ~ Charles Kettering.

You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere. ~ Charles Kettering.

Great Charles Kettering Quotes

If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it. ~ Charles Kettering.


Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail. ~ Charles Kettering.

It doesn’t matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again. ~ Charles Kettering.

It is not what we know that is important, it is what we do not know. ~ Charles Kettering.

A man must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere. ~ Charles Kettering.

We have been measuring too much in terms of the dollar. What we should do is think in terms of useful materials-things that will be of value to us in our daily life. ~ Charles Kettering.

The whole fun of living is trying to make something better. ~ Charles Kettering.

There has never been any 30-hour week for men who had anything to do. ~ Charles Kettering.

A research problem is not solved by apparatus; it is solved in a man’s head. ~ Charles Kettering.

Inspirational Charles Kettering Quotes

So long as new ideas are created, sales will continue to reach new highs. ~ Charles Kettering.

The Wright brothers flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility. ~ Charles Kettering.

You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time. ~ Charles Kettering.

So these were the 95 top Charles Kettering quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Carol Burnett quotes and Charles Dickens quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar