Give me a break!
When we look back and examine the sentiment of prominent observers, and even experts in their time, it’s easy to see how we can miss the future even as it’s staring us in the face.
Consider the following:
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
CHARLES H. DUELL, COMMISSIONER, U.S. OFFICE OF PATENTS, 1899
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
THOMAS WATSON, CHAIRMAN OF IBM, 1943
“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
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
H.M. WARNER, COFOUNDER, WARNER BROTHERS, 1927
“We don’t like their sounds, and guitar music is on the way out.”
DECCA RECORDS REJECTING THE BEATLES, 1962
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
LORD KELVIN, PRESIDENT, ROYAL SOCIETY 1895
“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
BILL GATES, CEO, MICROSOFT, 1981
I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Arthur Schopenhauer:
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
What stories are we telling ourselves today in this age of disruption?