“Dad tells me I should always be open minded and creative. He told me a quote by Napoleon Hill that goes like this…“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.
When you look at how far we’ve come in the last 100 years you can see this is true, but here are some quotes by people who didn’t always look at things with an open mind!”
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”….Thomas Watson (1874-1956), Chairman of IBM, 1943
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”….H. M. Warner (1881-1958), founder of Warner Brothers, in 1927
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” .…Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”….Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
“Inventions reached their limit long ago, and I see no hope for further development.”….Julius Frontinus, 1st century A.D.
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”….Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
“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 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 paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
“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.
“Space travel is bunk.” ….Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of Britain, 1957, two weeks before the launch of Sputnik
“All attempts at artificial aviation are not only dangerous to life but doomed to failure from an engineering standpoint.”….editor of ‘The Times’ of London, 1905
“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”….Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” ….Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962
“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.
“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”….Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre
“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
“You would make a ship sail against the winds and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck…I have no time for such nonsense.”….Napoleon, commenting on Fulton’s Steamship
“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” ….Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
“The aeroplane will never fly.”….Lord Haldane, Minister of War, Britain, 1907
“But what … is it good for?”….Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM in 1968, commenting on the microchip.