"Computers in the
future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
~ "Popular Mechanics," forecasting the relentless march of science,
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
~ Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with
best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that
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
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered
a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
~ Western Union internal memo, 1876
"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would
pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
~ David Sarnoff's 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 Smith's
proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found
"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not
~ Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone
With The Wind"
"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say
likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make."
~ Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies
"We don't 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
"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The
was full of examples that said you can't do this."
~ Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M
"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even
with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or
give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work
you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they
'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"
~ Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and
interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer
"You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all
your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have
accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of
~ Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by
"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil?
~ Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill
for oil in 1859
"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives."
~ Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project
"This fellow Charles Lindbergh will never make it. He's doomed."
~ Harry Guggenheim, millionaire aviation enthusiast
"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
~ Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929
"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
~ Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de
"Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific
~ Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of
"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
~ Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899