The human factor often makes fools of those who too confidently make predictions. The following are just a few examples of experts who were sure about their pessimistic predictions:


“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be considered as a means of communication,” said the president of Western Union in 1876. “The device is of inherently no value to us.”

In 1927, film producer Harry Warner said, “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”

The president of Michigan Savings Banks advised Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co. because, he said, “The horse is here to stay, the automobile is a novelty.

“Taking the best left-handed pitcher in baseball and converting him into a right fielder is one of the dumbest things I ever heard,” said Tris Speaker in 1919. He was talking about Babe Ruth.

In 1929, Yale economist Irving Fisher said, “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Two weeks later, the stock market crashed.

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out anyway,” said the president of Decca Records, rejecting the Beatles in 1962.

Darryl Zanuck observed, in 1946, “Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home,” said the president of Digital Electronic Corporation in 1977.

“We will bury you,” predicted Nikita Kruschev in 1958.

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