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Uncommon Sense

The Doubters

  • Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night. – Daryl F. Zanuck, CEO 20th Century Fox, 1949 
  • We will never release our cartoons and movies on video tape. There’s too great a danger of illegal copying. – Ronald Miller, CEO & President, Walt Disney Corp.
  • Sensible and responsible women do not want the right to vote. – President Garfield, running for a second term (he lost). 
  • Man will never find a practical use for the atom. – Lord Rutherford, eminent physicist 
  • Who the hell wants to hear actors talk? – Jack Warner, President, Warner Bros., 1927

The Believers

  • Walt and Roy Disney were told by a major California bank that, “Grown men who draw mice for a living could never cut it in the business world.”
  • Wilma Rudolph was told by doctors that she would never be able to walk like a normal person because of her diseased legs. She won several gold medals as a sprinter in the 1962 Olympics inTokyo.
  • The day before the Wright Brothers took off at Kitty Hawk, N.C., Lord Kelvin, among the most eminent persons in the field of physics gave a speech at Ohio University detailing why man could never build a machine that was heavier than air that could fly.
  • Richard Bach’s book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, was rejected by 59 publishers as a stupid story. Later, it sold more copies than any other book except the Bible and a few cook books.
  • Charles Schultz was advised to give up cartoon drawing by a major art school because he wasn’t very good at it (drawing cartoons). His comic strip, Peanuts, has made him one of the wealthiest men in the world.
  • Richard Mayer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was castigated by his Board of Directors for buying the rights to Gone With the Wind, because the book and subsequent movie would never to sell.
  • The inventor of Scotch™ Tape was ordered to stop working on the product during its development because it was a stupid idea. However, it became the biggest selling and most profitable product for 3M until Post-Its™ came along.