No future

07 Jul 2008

From Supply Technology: 'This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communications. The device is inherently of no value to us.' An 1876 internal memo at Western Union, responding to Alexander Graham Bell's offer to sell them his patent on the telephone for $100,000. 'The talking telegraph is a beautiful thing from a scientific point of view. . . but if you look at it in a business light, it is of no importance.' Elisha Gray, who invented the telephone independently and filed his patent application a few hours after Alexander Graham Bell. '[The telephone's] an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them‾' Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States. We're guessing that the inventor of the wheel had similar hurdles to overcome - focus groups unimpressed with beta versions and investors unable to foresee paradigm shifts of the four wheeled variety.

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