10
May

Predictions

This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously
considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently
of no value to us.
–Western Union internal memo, 1876.

Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.
–Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of
science, 1949

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
–Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

640K ought to be enough for anybody.
— Bill Gates, 1981

I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked
with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is
a fad that wont last out the year.
–The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall,
1957

But what… is it good for?
–Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM,
1968, commenting on the microchip.

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
–Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital
Equipment Corp., 1977

The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who
would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?
–David Sarnoffs associates in response to his urgings for
investment in the radio in the 1920s.

The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn
better than a C, the idea must be feasible.
–A Yale University management professor in response to Fred
Smiths paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service.
(Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
–H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

Im just glad itll be Clark Gable whos falling on his face and
not Gary Cooper.
–Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in
Gone With The Wind.

We dont like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.
–Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
–Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

So we went to Atari and said, Hey, weve got this amazing thing,
even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about
funding us? Or well give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay
our salary, well come work for you. And they said, No. So
then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, Hey, we dont
need you. You havent got through college yet.
–Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get
Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniaks personal
computer.

Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and
reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum
against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge
ladled out daily in high schools.
–1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddards
revolutionary rocket work.

Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil?
Youre crazy.
–Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project
to drill for oil in 1859.

Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.
–Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole
Superieure de Guerre.

Louis Pasteurs theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.
–Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
–Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents,
1899.

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