Throughout history people have been proven wrong time and time again. What was once a certainty becomes a probability and then so quickly is a falsity. The personal computer, music trends, the stock market and oil drilling all had their doubters when first conceived, yet history has deemed otherwise.

Here are a list of quotes from those who weren’t yet convinced. It is almost inconceivable to imagine life without all of these inventions, discoveries and innovations. Don’t listen to the doubters.

What else do you think will be on this list in 50 years time?

Solar? Space travel? Climate change?


“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

— Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment
Corp., 1977 [DEC went on to founder in the PC market.]

“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.]

“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
— 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

“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
— Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and
H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer

“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

“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

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

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”.
— Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

“No one will ever be able to measure nerve impulse speed.”
— Johannes Muller, German Physiologist, 1846

“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

“We are probably at the limit of what we can know about astronomy.”
— Simon Newcomb, 1888

“That the automobile has reached the limit of its development is suggested
by the fact that during the last year no improvements of a radical nature
have been introduced.”
— Scientific American, 1909

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
— Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

“Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for
future improvements.”
— Julius Frontenus, 10 A.D.

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
— Bill Gates, 1981


Source: Zimmer