Technological conclusions THEN that hold no water NOW

I just stumbled online on the following quotes: the fist thing that crossed my mind was if only some of these people were still alive, I wonder how they would feel seeing that their conclusions ‘then’ don’t hold water now.

“The information superhighway is a dirt road that won’t be paved over until 2025.”
— Sumner Redstone, CEO of Viacom/Blockbuster.

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

“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — An internal Western Union memo, 1876
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — IBM chairman Thomas Watson, 1943

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
— Ken Olson, founder, chairman & president of DEC, 1977

“640k ought to be enough for anybody.” — Bill Gates, 1981 (Did he mean $640K?)

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

“Everything that can be invented has already been invented.”
— Charles H. Duell, director of the U.S. Patent Office, 1899

“Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”
– Kristin Wilson, Nintendo, Inc., 1989.

“A rocket will never be able to leave the earth’s atmosphere.” –The New York Times, 1936

“The only thing I’d rather own than Windows is English. Then I’d be able to charge you an upgrade fee every time I add new letters like N and T.” –Scott McNealy, chairman of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

“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 won’t 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.

“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 world is coming to an end in 1950.” –Historian Henry Adams, 1903

“There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.”
–Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Milliken, 1923

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature 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 “Post-It” Notepads.

“So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘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 H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s 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 Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.

“You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can’t be done. It’s just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training.”
–Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the “unsolvable” problem by inventing Nautilus.

“Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
–Producer Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, 1946

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

“Well-informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value.”
–Boston Post, 1865

“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 Guerre.

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” –Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

“If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.”
–W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”
–Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

“By 2000, politics will simply fade away. We will not see any political parties.”
–Visionary and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller, 1966

“You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”
–The Grand Ole Opry’s Jim Denny to Elvis Presley, 1954

“Good morning, doctors. I have taken the liberty of removing Windows 95 from my hard drive.”
–The winning entry in a “What were HAL’s first words” contest judged by 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY creator Arthur C. Clarke

“[Andy] Grove giveth and [Bill] Gates taketh away.”
–Bob Metcalfe (inventor of Ethernet) on the trend of hardware speedups not being able to keep up with software demands

“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 student Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

“That rainbow song’s no good. Take it out.” – MGM memo after first showing of The Wizard Of Oz

“You’d better learn secretarial skills or else get married.” – Modeling agency, rejecting Marilyn Monroe in 1944

“Radio has no future.” “X-rays are clearly a hoax”. “The aeroplane is scientifically impossible.”
– Royal Society president Lord Kelvin, 1897-9.

“Forget it. No Civil War picture ever made a nickel.”
– MGM executive, advising against investing in Gone With The Wind

“Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” – A film company’s verdict on Fred Astaire’s 1928 screen test

“The atom bomb will never go off – and I speak as an expert in explosives.” – U.S. Admiral William Leahy in 1945

“Television won’t matter in your lifetime or mine.” – Radio Times editor Rex Lambert, 1936

“And for the tourist who really wants to get away from it all, safaris in Vietnam.”
– Newsweek magazine, predicting popular holidays for the late 1960s

source: click here


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