(In)Famous Quotes

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From the Script: SLIDE 2 - (In)Famous Quotes

Technical leaders, although able to predict and capitalize on current trends, have often misunderstood or underestimated the technology that they were helping to develop. Take these educated predictions from experts:

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

Two years after this statement was made, computers were developed with program storage and a year after that, the first all-electronic computer was developed. When IBM began to understand the power of the computer, they embraced the new technology. In 1952, IBM produced a vacuum-tube-based computer and defense computing made up half of IBM’s computing revenue throughout the 1950's. IBM announced the System/360 series of computers in 1964. By 1970, computer sales had made IBM the largest and most profitable industrial company in history. IBM entered the PC market in 1981, and during the first four months 13,533 IBM PCs had been sold. [Ferguson, Chposky]

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers Studios, 1927

Within three years of this statement being made, silent movies had become a thing of the past. At the time, Warner Brothers, a small studio on the verge of bankruptcy, ended up adopting movies with sound as a novelty and a last resort. In 1927, movie attendance topped around 5 million per week. By the end of 1929, “talking pictures” drew 90 million per week, a growth of 1800%, during a time of economic depression.