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"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives."
-- Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project.
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"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom."
-- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923.
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"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
-- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
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"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.
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"But what is it good for?"
-- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems
Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip
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"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
-- Bill Gates, 1981
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"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
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"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
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"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.)
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"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."
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"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.
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"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
-- Lord Kelvin,
president, Royal Society, 1895.
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"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
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"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.
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"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
-- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics,
Yale University, 1929.
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"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
-- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, France.
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"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
-- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.
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"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.
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"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.
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"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction."
-- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872.
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"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.
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"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
--Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.
 
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