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Dumb Things That Very Smart People Said

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
IBM chairman Thomas Watson, 1943

"It would appear that we have reached the limits of what is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in five years."
John von Neumann, 1949

"There is no reason for individuals to have a computer in their home."
Ken Olsen, 1977

"640,000 bytes of memory ought to be enough for anybody."
Bill Gates, 1981

"The Internet will catastrophically collapse in 1996."
Robert Metcalfe, 1995

From The Change Function, by Pip Coburn

A version of this article appeared in the May 2006 issue of Fast Company magazine.