Bootstrapping: Gotta not let others bring you down, they’re usually wrong

One thing you can count on when you are launching a new venture is the throngs of people who will tell you all the reasons why you will fail.

While it can take some success to begin developing the confidence and thick skin required to shake off these nay-sayers, I recently came across a post that lists some predictions that were 100% wrong, that should give you some comfort the next time your friend (or professor) tells you your idea is crazy.

Here are some of my favorites:

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

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

“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

“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.

[read the entire list from Thought Mechanics]


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