Where did you say I could see the future?


Lets face it, I have been wrong numerous times in my life time. One of my worst prognosis was “there is no way the CD will ever replace the vinyl record” and my all time favorite “we will never be able to afford a computer at home” (both was said by me in the 80’s). 

These and similar statements were made by my husband and friends as well, any time when something new had entered the market and we just couldn’t picture our life without the things we were used to. Change is not always good…but although not always bad. Lately, I find myself criticizing some of the things the younger generation does and I think this post comes right in time for me, to overthink my position on some things. I  might not like everything that’s new”, but that doesn’t mean it’s always bad.

The good news is I am not the only one who can be off by a mile, I am in good company, so it seems:

“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    (I wish he would have been right)

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
~ Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949     (See, that’s why I thought we couldn’t afford one)

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”  
~ Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943          (Chairman! Seriously)

“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

“But what is it good for?”
~ Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.” (Well Mr. Gates, times have changed haven’t they?)
~ Bill Gates, 1981    (Well Mr. Gates, seems you were close to earth ones)

“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.     (Can you imagine what he would think today?)

“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.)

“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper,”
~ Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”     (They offered it to Gary Cooper first????)

“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.     (Oh Boy!)

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,”
~ Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.       (Yep, and Elvis wouldn’t last a day)

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible,”
~ Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

“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.

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value,”
~ Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre , France .

“Everything that can be invented has been invented,”
~ Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899  

“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    

“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.

“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 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.

And last but not least…

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
~ Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977    (I like it when they believe in their own product)

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17 thoughts on “Where did you say I could see the future?

  1. Wow. You really are in good company! I think I’ve made many similar statements myself and I was completely bowled over when my pre-teen son bought an iPod Touch years ago. Thought I was then living in sci-fi movie! Even now, I still can’t believe I stream movies! I do amaze myself sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Last famous words”…..
    I do remember when in my family , at least one of your quotes was pronounced …
    As for me , I’m always very surprised by new inventions and predictions and don’t dare to doubt too much…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Obviously, even very bright, intelligent people have a hard time thinking about future possibilities. We get stuck in the here and now and don’t dream big or think creatively. By my own admission, when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were first aired, I thought, “This is stupid. This show will never fly.” I was soooooo wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. love this. I try not to buck the new things that present themselves and dismiss them, it reminds me of the negativity I heard growing up when rock and roll replaced the big band music my grandparents listened to and they kept knocking it. Moving along with the times keeps us relevant and involved.

    Liked by 1 person

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