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Scott Adams

Scott Adams
Born Scott Raymond Adams
June 8, 1957 (1957-06-08) (age 52)
Windham, New York
Nationality United States American
Area(s) Cartoonist, writer
Notable works Dilbert

Scott Raymond Adams (born June 8, 1957) is the American creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary, business, and general speculation.


Personal life

Scott Adams was born in Windham, New York in 1957, and graduated valedictorian from Windham Central School, in a class size of 39. He remained in the area for college, receiving his Bachelor's degree in Economics from Hartwick College in 1979.[1] He also studied economics and management for his 1986 MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

In recent years, Adams has had a series of debilitating health problems. Since late 2004, he has suffered from a reemergence of his focal dystonia which has affected his drawing,[2] though he can work around the problem by drawing using a graphics tablet. He also suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, a condition that causes the vocal cords to behave in an abnormal manner. He recovered from this condition temporarily but in July 2008 underwent surgery to rewire the nerve connections to his vocal cord. As of October 2008, Adams reports he has regained the ability to speak, though not yet to shout.[3] His condition is expected to continue improving over time as the nerve pathways regenerate.

Adams is trained as a hypnotist and is a vegetarian.[4] He is a strong believer in affirmations, which he credits with his career, Dilbert's success, a ninety-four on a difficult qualification exam for business school, among other unlikely events.[5]

He married Shelly Miles in 2006 and currently resides in Dublin, California.

He has described his own political views as "Libertarian, minus the crazy stuff,"[6] and he supported Michael Bloomberg for president in 2008.


Adams writes in a semi-satirical, often sarcastic way about the social and mental landscape of white-collar workers in modern corporations and other large enterprises.

Prior to his success as a writer/cartoonist, Adams worked closely with telecommunications engineers at Crocker National Bank as a software developer in San Francisco between 1979 and 1986, and at Pacific Bell between 1986 and June 1995, and draws on their personalities for those of his Dilbert characters. Adams first published Dilbert in 1989, while still employed at Pacific Bell.

He is also the CEO of Scott Adams Foods, Inc., makers of the Dilberito & Protein Chef, and a co-owner of Stacey's Café in Pleasanton, California. Much of his interest in the food business comes from the fact that he is a vegetarian.

Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine, credits Adams for launching his career as a cartoonist.

In 1997, at the invitation of Logitech CEO Pierluigi Zappacosta, Adams, wearing a wig and false mustache, successfully impersonated a management consultant and tricked Logitech managers into adopting a mission statement that Adams described as "so impossibly complicated that it has no real context whatsoever."[7]

Adams is an avid fan of the science fiction TV series Babylon 5. He appeared in the season 4 episode "Moments of Transition" as a character named "Mr. Adams," who hires former head of security Michael Garibaldi to locate his megalomaniacal dog and cat[8]. He also had a cameo in a third-season episode of NewsRadio, in which the character Matthew Brock, played by Andy Dick, becomes an obsessed Dilbert fan. In the episode Review, Adams is credited as "Guy in line behind Dave and Joe in first scene".[9]

He is a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.



Adams has received recognition for his work, including the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award and Newspaper Comic Strip Award for 1997 for his work on Dilbert. He had also been climbing the Suntop Media & European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) rankings of the 50 most influential management thinkers placing 31st in 2001,[10] 27th in 2003,[11] and 12th in 2005,[12], but fell to 21st in 2007.[13]

He received the NCTE George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language for his participation in "Mission Impertinent" (San Jose Mercury News West Magazine, November 16, 1997).

Coined phrases

Adams has coined or popularized words and phrases over the years, such as:

"Cow-orker" was a pre-existing word from Usenet that Adams popularized through his newsletter. Similarly, "Induhvidual" gained popularity through the newsletter, though it was coined by a reader.


  • On January 10, 2007, Scott Adams also published an "Answers to Your Questions" blog addressing multiple questions and subjects about his daily life.

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Scott Adams (born 8 June 1957), American cartoonist and satirist, best known for his Dilbert series of comic strips and books.



  • Always Postpone Meetings with Time-wasting Morons
    • Title of book, Always Postpone Meetings with Time-wasting Morons (1995)
  • Normal people don't understand this concept; they believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
    • Adams, Scott (1996). The Dilbert Principle. HarperBusiness. pp. 174. ISBN 0-88730-787-6.  
  • They say that dogs lick their own genitalia because they can. But I think it's at least partially because they don't have the Internet.
  • As you know, the best way to solve a problem is to identify the core belief that causes the problem; then mock that belief until the people who hold it insist that you heard them wrong.
  • If there is one thing that our role models in this election have taught us, it's that omitting important information is completely different from lying.
  • The biggest issue in this election is something called flip-flopping, and all candidates are accused of doing it. A strong leader is expected to maintain steadfast resolve in his opinion even if the environment changes or he gets new information. In any other context, that would be considered the first sign of a brain tumor. When presidents do it, it's called leadership, and frankly, we can't get enough of it.
  • Just because no one has ever gotten better from Spasmodic Dysphonia before doesn't mean I can't be the first.
  • Ask a deeply religious Christian if he’d rather live next to a bearded Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his house. On the scale of prejudice, atheists don’t seem so bad lately.
  • There’s nothing more humbling than seeing your best quotes in a list, and thinking they could have been written by a coma patient with a keyboard and spasms.
  • If an economist uses a complicated model to predict just about anything, you can ignore it. By analogy, a doctor can’t tell you the exact date of your death in 50 years. But if a doctor tells you to eat less and exercise more, that’s good advice even if you later get hit by a bus. Along those same lines, economists can give useful general advice on the economy, even if you know there will be surprises. Still, be skeptical.
    • Press release, 10 September 2008[1]

Restaurant menus

  • You might think the word “homemade” is just a word we use as a marketing ploy. But what you don’t realize is that the staff sleeps here at night. If your tablecloth is wrinkled, that’s why.
  • If you don’t believe your salmon is wild, ask it to fetch your newspaper and see what happens.
  • Biblical scholars tell us that this is the same meal that Jesus ate at the last supper. But hey, I’m sure you have a good reason for ordering something else.
  • Our scallops are so delicious your mouth will thank you, which is creepy because your mouth can actually talk.


  • There's a gigantic gray area between good moral behavior and outright felonious activities. I call that the Weasel Zone and it's where most of life happens.
    • Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel (2002)
  • These days it seems like any idiot with a laptop computer can churn out a business book and make a few bucks. That's certainly what I'm hoping. It would be a real letdown if the trend changed before this masterpiece goes to print.
    • The Dilbert Principle (1995)
  • Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion.
    • The Dilbert Principle (1995)
  • People are so conditioned to take sides that a balanced analysis looks to them like hatred.
    • Dilbert, in Daily Dilbert, 26 March 2005
  • So, I heard the Fed increased the money supply, but I checked my bank balance and it's the same as before.
    • Dogbert's world of amazingly ignorant people.
  • Every generation of humans believed it had all the answers it needed, except for a few mysteries they assumed would be solved at any moment. And they all believed their ancestors were simplistic and deluded. What are the odds that you are the first generation of humans who will understand reality?
    • The Avatar, from God's Debris
  • Highly intelligent and well-informed people disagree on every political issue. Therefore, intelligence and knowledge are useless for making decisions, because if any of that stuff helped, then all the smart people would have the same opinions. So use your "gut instinct" to make voting choices. That is exactly like being clueless, but with the added advantage that you'll feel as if your random vote preserved democracy.
    • Response to an "Ask Dogbert" letter
  • Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

See also

External links

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