Wednesday, June 6, 2007


In one of the last publications of our school's staff newsletter this past year, the following was printed. I found it interesting, and thought I'd share it here.

Past Predictions

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

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

"But what is it good for?" commenting on the microchip.-- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Bill Gates, 1981

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

"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 York University

"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?" in response to urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.-- David Sarnoff' Associates

"I'm just glad it will be Clark Gable who falls on his face, 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

"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.

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

"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

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


Joan said...

Many of today's naysayers need to review these "predictions". I have read most of these at one time or another, but it is always interesting to see/hear/read them again.

Julie said...

Hehehe. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Man, those are hysterical!

Although... I had a computer in my house in 1977. My dad used it to plug into the university where he taught!

Bill Reichart said...

Thank you for a sermon illustration!

Very funny stuff.

bill from ProvocativeChurch

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Since I'm a lover of all things history this was really interesting to me.

I tried to find your email but couldn't....I wanted to let you know that this post was included in the Ga. Carnival over at Georgia On My Mind.

Great job!