"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
-- 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 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.
"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 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.) "Who
the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
--H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927. "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." "We
don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the
--Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
flying machines are impossible."
--Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
"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
--1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's
revolutionary rocket work. "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. "Louis
Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction".
--Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse,
that can be invented has been invented."
--Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents,