Your Life. Your Career. The Cards We are Dealt.

Your Life. Your Career. The Cards We are Dealt.


A little departure from my ‘A Story That Matters’ series.


The next time you’re stung by criticism – deflated from counsel that suggested you CAN’T – take the time to reflect on some of the “sage” advice or opinion offered below.


You are the master of your destiny. It’s your choices that will dictate your path – in your life and in your career. Even the brightest advisers are often wrong. Consider some of the following examples:


  • “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out.” – Unnamed Decca Recording Executive – rejecting The Beetles – 1962
  • “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Irving Fisher, Yale Professor of Economics – 1929
  • “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their homes.” Ken Gibson, President and Chairman of Digital Equipment Corp – 1977
  • “But…what is it good for?” – Unnamed Engineer Division of IBM – 1968 (when discussing the microchip)
  • “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society – 1895
  • “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – H.M. Warner – Warner Brothers Studio – 1927
  • “Children just aren’t interested in Witches and Wizards anymore.” – Unnamed publishing executive as he rejected author J.K. Rowling – 1996
  • “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad.” – President of Michigan Savings Bank – advice offered around not investing in a fledgling company called Ford Motor Co. – 1903
  • “Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” – Pierre Pachet (Professor of Physiology at Toulouse) – 1872
  • “One hundred million dollars is way too much to pay for Microsoft.” – IBM executive – 1982
  • “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” – Thomas Watson, CEO – IBM – 1943
  • “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” – Investment Experts discussing the investment appeal of radio – early 1920s
  • “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.” – Yale University Management Professor in response to college student Fred’s Smith’s paper on reliable overnight delivery service – some years before Smith founded Federal Express
  • “You better get secretarial work or get married.” – Emmeline Snively, Director of Blue Book Modeling Agency in feedback to Marilyn Monroe – 1944
  • “Very interesting Whittle my boy, but it will never work.” – Cambridge Aeronautics Professor to Frank Whittle – the creator of the jet engine
  • “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo – 1876
  • “To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land and then return to earth – all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances.”- Leo DeForest (Inventor of the Vacuum Tube) – 1926


None of us picks the cards we’re dealt in life – but all of us can choose how we play the hand.


Too many fold far too early.


No Comments

Post A Comment