Voll daneben – historische Irrtümer

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

„Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.“
Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

„I have traveled 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.“
The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

„But what … is it good for?“
Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

„There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.“
Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

„640K ought to be enough for anybody.“
Bill Gates, 1981

„So we went to Atari and said, ‚Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.‘ And they said, ‚No.‘ So then we went to Hewlett- Packard, and they said, ‚Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.'“
Steve Jobs, founder of Apple

„Die flächendeckende Einführung von ISDN in der Wirtschaft wird noch Jahre dauern und vermutlich nicht die Dynamik der Telefax-Einführung erreichen.“
Büro für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung beim Deutschen Bundestag 1995

auch nicht schlau …

„… after a few more flashes in the pan, we shall hear very little more of Edison or his electric lamp. Every claim he makes has been tested and proved impracticable.“
New York Times, January 16, 1880

„Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.“
Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895.

„Radio has no future.“ – Lord Kelvin, 1897

„There is no likelihood that man can ever tap the power of the atom“
– Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize physicist, 1923

„There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the moon because of insurmountable barriers to escaping the earth’s gravity“
Dr. F. R. Moulton, University of Chicago astronomer, 1932

„Everything that can be invented has been invented.“
Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, 1899

„Man will not fly for 50 years.“
Orville Wright, aviation pioneer, 1901.

„My imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.“
Jules Verne, author of „20,000 Leagues Under the Sea“

„What use could this company make of an electrical toy [telephone]?“
William Orton, President of WESTERN UNION.

„The horse is here to stay the automobile is only a fad.“
Advice given by the President of MICHIGAN SAVINGS BANK to Horace Rackham, lawyer of Henry Ford.

„Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.“
Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1911.

„[Man will never reach the Moon] regardless of all future scientific advances.“
Dr. Lee de Forest, a father of radio, 1967.

„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

„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.

„Video (TV) won’t be able to hold any market after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.“
Darryl F. Zanuck of 20th Century Fox, 1946

„I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.“
Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in „Gone With The Wind.“

„We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.“
Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

„Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.“
Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

„The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.“
– Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon- Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873.

„Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.“
1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work. – In 1969 the New York Times published an apology for once printing derisive comments about Goddard´s theory. The apology was printed the day after Apollo 11 left earth orbit for the moon.

“Sonne, Wasser oder Wind können auch langfristig nicht mehr als 4 % unseres Strombedarfs decken.“
(Angela Merkel, Bundes-Umweltministerin Nov. 1994)

Zwischendurch auch mal Zitate von einem klugen Kopf, der – soweit wir das heute beurteilen können – wohl nicht daneben lag:

„You can never solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem in the first place“
„Only two things are certain: the Universe and human stupidity; and I’m not certain about the Universe“

– Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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