Say It Ain't so..........


Registered Member
It's amazing what men of intelligence will say:

"Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific
advances." -- Dr. Lee DeForest, "Father of Radio & Grandfather of

"The Atomic bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in
explosives." - - Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project

"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." --
Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

"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

"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.

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

"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.

"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

"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 paper proposing reliable
overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not
Gary Cooper," -- 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 America 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
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"

"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.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." - -
Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics,
YaleUniversity, 1929.

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

"Everything that can be invented has been invented," -- Charles H.
Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.

"The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all
of the water that flows over
Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the
number of vacuum tubes required." -- Professor of Electrical Engineering,
New YorkUniversity

"I don't know what use any one could find for a machine that would
make copies of documents. It certainly couldn't be a feasible business by
itself." -- the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor
to found Xerox.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." -- Pierre
Pachet, Professor of Physiology at
Toulouse, 1872

"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.

And last but not least...

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



Film Elitist
Most of them were pretty dense (Ex. Gary Cooper), others just didn't think or believe technology would advance that far for everything possible...

But most of them were just stupid.


For a Free Scotland
The PC really reversed the trend of computers and their usage in society, so there were a lot of losers there. Then the Internet happened: even the best minds of a few decades before did not see that happening.

Besides that; people are stubborn when change comes, and several of these quotes were by people or companies that were threatened by these new advances. Denial, perchance?


Registered Member
You have to look at the time they were living in though...

edit: I fix myself now that i have read more, some of them are stupid...