These tech-centric jokes,
song parodies, anecdotes and assorted humor have been collected from friends and
websites across the Internet. This humor is light-hearted and sometimes slightly
offensive to the easily-offended, so you are forewarned. It is all workplace-safe.
- "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
- "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
- "But what ... is it good for?" --Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968,
commenting on the microchip.
- "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." --Ken Olson, president, chairman and
founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
- "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as means of communication. The device
is inherently of no value to us." --Western Union internal memo, 1876.
- "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.)
- "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.
- "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." --Decca Recording Co. rejecting the
- "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." --Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
- "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and
what do you think about funding us? Or we' ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come
work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you.
You haven't got through college yet.'" --Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP
interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.
- "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something
better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high
schools." --1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.
- "You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can't be done.
It's just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of
weight training." --Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.
- "Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." --Drillers who Edwin L.
Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.
- "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." --Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics,
Yale University, 1929.
- "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." --Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy,
Ecole Superieure de Guerre.
- "Everything that can be invented has been invented." --Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of
- "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction". --Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at
- "The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane
surgeon". --Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon- Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.
- "640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Bill Gates, 1981
...from the Inflection Point web site