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critical thinking survey

I ran across a few predictions from the past that I found quite amusing. In many cases, had such predictions been accurate, our way of life would look nothing like it does today.

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

Oddly enough, there are three computers in this home…

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.

Again, we have three of those, too…

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.

Ha! Can you imagine life without a radio? No talk radio? No music to suit any mood? Not this chick.

The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible. -A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.

I’ve always admired Fred Smith. Thank God he didn’t listen to the professor.

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

Can  you imagine silent movies? I remember seeing them at some pizza place (there was also a player piano there) and it drove me batty.

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.”

Wonder how many times Mr. Cooper rued that decision?

A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make. -Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.

Market research, splarket research…

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

I’d love to know what made this company think guitar music was on the way out.

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.

I for one am glad I don’t have to take vacations on horseback…

And now for my favorite:

Everything that can be invented has been invented. – US Office of Patents, 1899

What will you invent today?


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