Friday, 6 May 2011

Quotes about Predictions

Here's the next section of quotes from my book 1000 Great Quotations for Business, Management & Training.

An updated version of the book is newly available as part of my Almost Free Kindle titles both in the UK and in the USA.

Prediction is extremely difficult. Especially about the future.

Niels Bohr, Danish physicist (1885-1962)

Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further development.

Sextus Julius Frontinus, Roman engineer (40-103 AD)

Everything that can be invented has been invented.

Charles Duell, US director of Patents Office (1850-1920)

What, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you excuse me. I have no time to listen to such nonsense.

Napoleon Bonaparte, French soldier, statesman, revolutionary (1769-1821)

Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.

Dionysius Lardner, British scientist (1793-1859)

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 Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.

William Preece, British chief engineer of the Post Office (1834-1913)

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, British physicist (1824-1907)

While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.

Lee DeForest, US inventor (1873-1961)

We must not be misled to our own detriment to assume that the untried machine can displace the proved and tried horse.

John K Herr, US general (1878-1955)

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.

Robert Millikan, US physicist, Nobel Prize winner (1868-1953)

Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?

H M Warner, Polish/US Hollywood producer (1881-1953)

The talking picture will not supplant the regular silent motion picture.

Thomas Alva Edison, US inventor (1847-1931)

Thomas Edison

The phonograph is not of any commercial value.

Thomas Alva Edison, US inventor (1847-1931)

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

Thomas J Watson, US businessman, founder of IBM (1874-1956)

Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.

Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science (1949)

It would appear that we have reached the limits of what is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in five years.

John Van Neumann, US mathematician (1903-1957)

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.

Kenneth Harry Olsen, US executive, President of Digital Equipment (1926-2011)

We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.

Decca Recording Company, rejecting the Beatles (1962)

The concept is interesting and well-informed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.

Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express.)

So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built some of the 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.’

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer Inc (b. 1955)

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