Friday 27 September 2013

Inventions & Predictions

You should always be skeptical when listening to experts, because their opinions may be the most egregious (outstandingly bad). For example, Charles H. Duell (an official at the US Patent Office) said back in 1899, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” I guess he didn't see the microchip coming.

Twenty-three years earlier, after receiving a personal demonstration of the telephone, Rutherford B. Hayes (the 19th President of the United States) remarked, "It's a great invention, but who would want to use it?" He went on to be the first President to have a phone at his disposal in the White House.

William Thomson, ist Baron Kelvin, who was a mathematical physicist and engineer is best known for determining the value of absolute zero (-273.15 Celsius). In 1895, he said, “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” I guess he didn't see the turbine jet engine coming.

A few years later, a lawyer for Henry Ford visited the Michigan Savings Bank regarding investing in the Ford Motor Company. The President of the bank told him, "The automobile is only a novelty - a fad." I wonder what he would have thought of the Apple iPhone? In 1946 Darryl F. Zanuck said television “won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” Little did he know they would put televisions and telephones into heavier-than-air flying machines and automobiles.

Although Thomas Watson (Chairman of IBM) said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” back in 1943, it was Ken Olson (President, Chairman & Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation) who said in 1977, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” I guess he didn't see the Internet coming (or Grand Theft Auto).

All I can say is, pay no attention to anyone dismissing innovation or radical new ideas. Who knows? Maybe someday there will be robots who can play golf better than humans . . .

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