Ronald Reagan was passed over by United Artists to play the president in their film because the actor didn't seem "presidential" to them. When the 1980's came around, UA sure looked pretty foolish! (...Not because of the Reagan thing, but for greenlighting Octopussy.)
As CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer scoffed at the iPhone when it debuted. He would have continued mocking it, but the interview was cut short when the space they were using had to be used as an overflow line for a nearby Apple store.
Speaking with the eloquence and persuasive expertise of that angry old man who hangs out at your local grocery store, Newsweek writer Clifford Stoll wrote this amazing op-ed in 1995. Since I can't write a joke that'll ever be remotely as funny than Stoll's piece itself, I'll leave you now with this direct quote from the article in question: "Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure."
This investment analyst is right. All the smart people know that you shouldn't buy a risky stock like Google. You should put your money in something secure and unflappable, like the American housing industry!
For the first few months of television, it seemed like Daryl Zanuck's prediction about people not wanting to stare at a plywood box every night was going to be correct. But then, manufacturers decided to take a chance and put in a video screen inside that box that could play content! And the rest, as they say, is history.
Ferdinand Fochs was a decorated French general in the first World War, as well as a brilliant military strategist and scholar. That being said, he was crazy not to realize how important airplanes would be in wartime. It's almost like this guy's never played Call of Duty.
Ken Olsen, founder and president of Digital Equipment Corporation, saw the future bright and clear when he made this assertion back in 1977. He would have, of course, never said such a ridiculous statement had he known that computers could one day be used to download pornography.
Richard Rowe of Decca Records was an important music producer who signed many influential acts, such as NOT THE BEATLES. But, Rowe had a good reason for passing on the Fab Four, as George Harrison recalled him declaring, "guitar groups are on their way out." No word on if those washboard and triangle-playing bands Rowe signed ever broke through to the mainstream.
England's Quarterly Review definitely knew what they were talking about when they deemed that the idea of a locomotive traveling twice as fast as a stagecoach as "absurd." As I'm sure they were aware, a much more realistic estimate would be thirty times as fast. They sure were ahead of their time for catching that inaccuracy.
After this colossal underestimation of the Japanese, I've decided to learn from Businessweek's mistakes and invest all of my money in Japan's next up-and-coming industry: Cosplay wigs that look like anime hair. I'm a genius.
As a land surveyor, Joseph Ives led an expedition along the Grand Canyon in 1861. There, he knew there was nothing special worth seeing, and wrote this dull account in his journal. Today, if you want to find a truly profitless locality, we advise you to visit your local Radio Shack.