What if we had Listened?

12 09 2009

What if we had listened to these Killer Remarks?

Chanute, aviation pioneer, in 1904: AThe Octave [flying] machine will eventually be fast; they will be used in sport, but they are not to be thought of as commercial carriers.


The Literary Digest, 1889: The ordinary horseless carriage is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never come into as common use as the bicycle.

Thomas Edison, on electricity in the home: Just as certain as death, [George] Westinghouse will kill a customer within six months after he puts in a system of any size.


Science Digest, August 1948: Landing and moving around on the moon offer so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them.

Chicken Little: AThe sky is falling.

Physicist and mathematician Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), who seemed to have a corner on the wrongheaded one-liner in his day: X rays are a hoax. Aircraft flight is impossible. Radio has no future.


Elisha Gray, inventor, 1876:  As to Bell’s talking telegraph, it only creates interest in scientific circles . . . its commercial values will be limited.

President of Remington Arms Company rejecting patent rights for the typewriter, 1897: No mere machine will replace a reliable and honest clerk.


Daryl F.  Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox, 1946: ATelevision won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months.  People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.

Charles Duell, U.S. Patent Office director, 1899: Everything that can be invented has been invented.



Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, 1923: There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.

Decca Records, turning down the Beatles, 1962: Groups with guitars are on their way out.


Ken Olsen, president of Digital Equipment, 1977: There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.

Western Union, rejecting rights to Alexander Graham Bells telephone, 1878: What use could the company make of an electric toy?


Michigan Savings Bank president advising a colleague against investing in Ford Motor Company:  …the automobile is only a novelty — a fad.

Alice in Lewis Carroll=s Through the Looking Glass, 1872: There’s no use trying.  One can’t believe impossible things.

Thomas Watson, Sr., founder of IBM, 1943: The world capacity for computers is five.


Disney Corporate policy, mid-1970’s: Our cartoons will never be sold on videotape.


Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company: You can have any color you want, boys, as long as its black.


Harry Warner, president of Warner Brothers, 1927: Who wants to hear actors talk!


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