Quotes: Prophecy, Prophets

(something people get tired of hearing someone say, "I told you it would happen.")

1. A prediction of a future event that is believed to reveal the will of a deity.
2. A prediction that something will occur in the future.
1. Someone who foretells or predicts what is to come; such as, a weather prophet or prophets of doom.
2. A spokesperson of some doctrine, cause, or movement.


Prophecies, or judgments, that have proven to be false:

  1. "Computers, in the future, may weigh more than 1.5 tons." —Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949.
  2. "I think there is a world market for, maybe, five computers." —Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
  3. "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country, and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." —The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957.
  4. "But what . . . is it good for?" —Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
  5. "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." —Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.
  6. "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is, inherently, of no value." —Western Union internal memo, 1876.
  7. "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.
  8. "The concept is interesting and well-formed. But, in order to earn better than a 'C', the idea must be feasible." —A Yale Univ. management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp).
  9. "Who wants to hear actors talk?" —H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
  10. "I'm just glad it will be Clark Gable who is falling on his face and not Gary Cooper." — Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in Gone With The Wind.
  11. "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.
  12. "We don't like their sound and guitar music is on the way out." —Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
  13. "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." —Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.
  14. "Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value." —Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

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