World's Worst Predictions - Famously Wrong Predictions
Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility--a development which we should waste little time dreaming about.
- Lee de Forest, 1926, inventor of the cathode ray tube
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
- Thomas J. Watson, 1943, Chairman of the Board of IBM
It doesn't matter what he does, he will never amount to anything.
- Albert Einstein's teacher to his father, 1895
It will be years - not in my time - before a woman will become Prime Minister.
- Margaret Thatcher, 1974
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
We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.
- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962
Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
- H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927
640K ought to be enough for anybody.
- Bill Gates, 1981
Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.
- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872
Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.
- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
We don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.
- Hewlett-Packard's rejection of Steve Jobs, who went on to found Apple Computers
King George II said in 1773 that the American colonies had little stomach for revolution.
An official of the White Star Line, speaking of the firm's newly built flagship, the Titanic, launched in 1912, declared that the ship was unsinkable.
In 1939 The New York Times said the problem of TV was that people had to glue their eyes to a screen, and that the average American wouldn't have time for it.
An English astronomy professor said in the early 19th century that air travel at high speed would be impossible because passengers would suffocate.
Airplanes are interesting toys, but they have no military value.
- Marshal Ferdinand Foch in 1911
With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.
- Business Week, 1958
Whatever happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.
- Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, on December 4, 1941
Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.
- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, October 16, 1929.