"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 a 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, commenting on the microchip, 1968

"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 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.

"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 Debbie 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 lead to the unique adhesives for 3M "Post-it" Notepads

"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 schools."
--New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work, 1921

"You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training."
--response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus

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

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

"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 be forever shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon."
--Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873

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


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