“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.
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” — Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” –Marechal FerdinandFoch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1911.
“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” — David Sarnoff, responding to advisors urging him to invest in radio in the 1920s.
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” — H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943.
“That [atomic] bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.”– Admiral William D. Leahy to President Truman, 1945.
“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.
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” — Decca Recording Co. executive explaining his label’s decision not to sign the Beatles in 1962.
“But what … is it good for?” — Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, expressing his evaluation of 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 concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” — A management professor commenting to Fred Smith, founder of Federal Express, on his paper written while he was a student at Yale proposing the creation of a reliable overnight delivery service.
“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 about her proposal to start Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.
“640K ought to be enough for anybody.” — Bill Gates, 1981
** I used to work for Digital Equipment in the 80’s and early 90’s. They were once a fortune 50 company with a AAA bond rating. Now they no longer exist!