Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Historical Quotes That Proved to be Wrong

Hindsight is 20/20 vision but it can also be humorous, like when Decca Records famously rejected The Beatles for a record deal in 1962, saying "guitar groups are on the way out" and "The Beatles have no future in show business”. Throughout history there are many such examples of how respected businessmen, great intellectuals and reputable publications very mistakenly predicted the future:

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one." - W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."  - Irving Fisher, economics professor at Yale University, 1929.

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.

"A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth's atmosphere." - The New York Times, 1936.

"There will never be a bigger plane built." - A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will." - Albert Einstein, 1932.

"Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure."-Henry Morton, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison's light bulb, 1880.

"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad." - The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford's lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903.

"Television won't last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." -Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.

"Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia." -  -Dr. Dionysius Lardner, professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, 1823

"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." -Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), in a talk given to a 1977 World Future Society meeting in Boston.

"The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most." - IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959.

If you enjoyed blog post, there is a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to business quotes that proved wrong. ..... Enjoy

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager