- In 1828, Dr. Dionysys Larder, a science writer and academic made the case that “rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers would be unable to breathe.” Today, the Shanghai Maglev Train reaches 268 mph during its daily service.
- In 1876, senior executives at Western Union made the decision that “This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. It is inherently of no value.” In early 2016 Apple announced that it has sold it’s 1 billionth iPhone.
- In 1878, Erasmus Wilson, a professor at Oxford University, studiously noted that “When the Paris Exhibition closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.” Scientists estimate that there are 12 billion incandescent lights in use around the world right now.
- In 1895, Lord Kelvin, president of the Royal Society of Science, expertly argued that “heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” The Wright brothers built one anyways. Boeing has built more than 4,285 of them since then.
- In 1899, Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of the US Office of Patents astutely noted that “everything that can be invented has been invented.” Since then, 7,673,820 inventors have received patents from the USPTO.
- In 1903, Horace Rackham, the president of the Michigan Savings Bank advised Henry Ford’s own lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Company by making the case that “the horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty — a fad.” As of 2010, there were 1.1 billion cars being driven across the globe.
- In 1923, Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics offered his opinion that “there is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.” The United State’s secret “Manhattan Project” team built an atom bomb that leveled 7 square miles and 2 cities in Japan.
- In 1929, three days before the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression, Economist Irving Fisher made the prediction that “stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Days later, and for the next decade, investors across the globe would lose trillions of dollars.
- In 1933, the head of engineering at Boeing bragged that “There will never be a bigger plane built” after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people. Boeing’s own 747-8 can hold 605 passengers, and it’s long range competitor, the Airbus A-380, can hold 853 people.
- In 1936, editors at the New York Times wrote that “A rocket will never leave Earth’s atmosphere.” Just 6 years later, the V2 missile which was first launched by Germany made it into space. Less than 15 years after that, a rocket launched the first satellite, called Sputnik, into space.
- In 1943, Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM observed that “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” As of June 2010, there were approximately 1,966,514,816 computers connected to the internet — accounting for roughly 28% of the global population.
- In 1946, Darryl Zanuck, the founder of 20th Century Movie Studio and winner of 3 Academy Awards, noted that “Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” Over 2 billion hours of TV is watched in the USA alone — each day.
- In 1954, Dr. Wilhelm Carl Hueper, Director of the National Cancer Institute, argued that “If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.” More than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since 1964. That number continues to grow.
- In 1955, Variety Magazine downplayed the impact of Rock n’ Roll music by sneering that “It’ll be gone by June.” Just the top 25 Classic Rock albums by themselves have generated sales of more than 413 million individual albums. Rock music continues to outsell all other categories of music combined.
- In 1959, IBM reported to the future founders of Xerox that “The world potential market for copying machines is 5,000 at most” — inferring that the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production. In 2015 alone, Xerox generated over $18.2 billion in copier sales, managing 60 billion printed pages.
- In 1962, Brian Epstein, a senior executive at Decca Recording dismissed the Beatles with a note that “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” They went on to sell 180 million records win 7 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score, and 15 Ivor Novello Awards. Rolling Stone would later call them “the best artists of all-time.”
- In 1968, Times Magazine made the observation that “online shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” In 2013, worldwide online shopping reached nearly $1 trillion. Goldman Sachs predicts year over year growth of almost 20%.
- In 1969, Margaret Thatcher told a listening audience that: “It will be years — not in my lifetime — before a woman becomes Prime Minister.” Ten years later she would prove her own prediction wrong — winning the 1979 UK general election.
- In 1977, Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corp scorned the idea of personal computing with “there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” By 2014, industry analysts predict that 2 billion families will have a personal computer in their home.
- In 1981, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft prophesied the maximum speed of computers with his opinion that “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” Today, the average personal computer is 300,000,000 times faster than that.
- In 1998, Edmund DeJesus, the editor of Byte magazine, boldly proclaimed that “Y2K is a crisis without precedent in human history.” The morning of January 1, 2000 dawned and nothing negative happened. Nothing at all.
- In 2007, Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft proclaimed that: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” Since 2007, Apple has sold almost 430 million iPhone. Microsoft has only sold about 2% of that number.
Maybe the experts you are listening to right now are just as wrong.
So don’t give up the fight.
Don’t walk away from your passion and dreams and goal. Don’t stop grinding and working towards getting to where you want to be.
It’s likely that that person who tells you that you’re wasting your time or to “be reasonable” is just flat out, dead wrong.
If you stop doing the right thing before it starts working, you’ve just done the wrong thing.
They don’t see what you see. They don’t know what you know. They don’t have your passion and heart and soul.
Be your own expert. Live your life undeterred by the opinions of others.
Aim for awesome.