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October 18, 2005

Everything old is new again

Actually, everything old is still old, but it doesn't lessen the amusement value. Sooooo, in keeping with the theme that seems to have struck a chord (C#minor) with most of you, here's another trip down Memory Lane. It's been around as long as the 'net has...

"[Television] 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."
- Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox, 1946

"Man will never reach the moon, regardless of all future scientific advances."
- Dr. Lee de Forest, inventor of the audion tube and father of radio, 1967

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 15 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 the year."
--The Editor-in-Chief, business books, for Prentice Hall, 1957

"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 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."

"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 her company, Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
--Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"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.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction".
--Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

And my personal fave:

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