Innovation Quotes ... 
Can You Predict the Future?

These innovation quotes about spectacular failures to predict the future hold some lessons for all of us.

Do you think you know what will work and what won't?

Perhaps the quotations below may make you think twice before you shoot down someone's idea.

In the words of Sam Ewing: “ Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said could not be done.”

Innovation Quotes

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.
~Ken Olsen, President Digital Equipment, 1977

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
~Charles H. Duell, Director of US Patent Office 1899

Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.
~Grover Cleveland, 1905

Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
~ Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros Pictures, 1927

Makes you think a little, doesn't it? Are you a true visionary, or do you stifle innovation because you aren't open to what's possible? Perhaps its worth remembering as Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “ In every work of genius, we recognize our once rejected thoughts.”

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.
~ Robert Miliham, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.
~ Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895

The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys. 
~Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876

Do you want to go down in history? Just think....
“If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error!”
~John Kenneth Galbraith

The horse is here today, but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad.
~President of Michigan Savings Bank advising against investing in the Ford Motor Company

Video 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. ~ Daryl F. Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, commenting on television in 1946

What use could the company make of an electric toy?~ Western Union, when it turned down rights to the telephone in 1878

These innovation quotes go to show that:

“ If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run - and often in the short one - the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.” 
~ Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - ), The Exploration of Space, 1951

And to sum up this page, one last quote to make you smile:

Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
~Neils Bohr (1885-1962) 

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