1. “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Company on declining to sign the Beatles, 1962


2. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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3. “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

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4. “Railway travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia” – Dr. Dionysius Lardner, 1930

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5. “Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognise it as a conspicuous failure.” – Henry Morton, president of the  Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison’s light bulb, 1880

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6. “No one will pay good money to get from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour when he can ride his horse there is one day for free.” – King William I of Prussia, on trains, 1864

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7. “X-rays will prove to be a hoax”. – Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

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8. “Reagan doesn’t have the presidential look.” – United Artists executive after rejecting Reagan as lead in the 1964 film in The Best Man

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9. “Television won’t last because people will soon be tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946

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10. “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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11. “The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most” IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox

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12. “I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating it’s crew and floundering at sea.” – HG Wells, British novelist, in 1901

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13. “How, 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 not the time to listen to such nonsense.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, when told of Robert Fulton’s steamboat, 1800’s

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14. “And for the tourist who really wants to get away from it all, safaris in Vietnam.” – Newsweek, predicting popular holidays for the late 1960’s

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15. “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” – Associates of David Sarnoff responding to the latter’s call for investment in the radio in 1921

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16. “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

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17. “There will never be a bigger plane built.” – A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine place that holds ten people.

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