Saturday, July 2, 2005

Famous Quotes (about resistence to change and predicting the future)

I am reminded of these quotes every time I talk to someone who believes that rulebases, knowledgebases, and expert systems are a fad...


"The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”
Western Union internal memo, 1876

"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys."
Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876 *

"Drill for Oil? You mean drill in the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy."
Response reported by Edwin Drake as he tried to hire workmen who knew oil just bubbled out of the ground, 1895 *

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

"It must be accepted as a principle that the rifle, effective as it is, cannot replace the effect produced by the speed of the horse, the magnetism of the charge and the terror of cold steel."
British Cavalry Training Manual, 1907 *

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
Marshal Ferdinand Foch (who become the supreme allied commander in World War I), 1911 *

"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.

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1949 *

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
Popular Mechanics, 1949

"I have travelled 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."
Editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957 *

"We don't like their sound and guitar music is on the way out."
Decca records rejects the Beatles, 1962 *

"There is no reason in the world anyone would want a computer in their home. No reason.”
Ken Olsen, Chairman, DEC, 1977

"I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time.”
Bill Gates 11/87

"640K of RAM ought to be enough for anybody.”
Bill Gates, 1981

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it”
Alan Kay

* Thanks to Jocelyn Paine for these quotes:

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1 Comments:

At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 10:46:00 PM , Ask Rolo said...

I came across articles about some of these famous quotes that explore whether they are actual quotes or urban legends:

(1) "Tech titans wish we wouldn't quote them on this baloney"
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kevinmaney/2005-07-05-famous-quotes_x.htm

(2) About Ken Olsen's quote:
http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9812/21/quotes.idg/index.html

(3) About the quote: "I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time.”
Bill Gates 11/87.

I know this quote is correct because I wrote it down myself. It was in the forward to a book about OS/2. Can't remember the name of the book though - If anyone knows, please share your comment.

Rolando

 

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