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Quips & Quotes

“Every inventor is a crackpot until his idea succeeds.”
Mark Twain

“If you don’t learn from your mistakes, there’s no sense making them.”

When Robert Fulton first demonstrated his new invention, the steamboat, skeptics crowded the canal banks shouting, “It’ll never start!”  It did start. It got going with a lot of clanking and groaning as it moved slowly down the canal waterway and he quieted the skeptics.  For a minute. Then they started shouting, “It’ll never stop!”

Learned Everything
“By the time you’re eighty years old you’ve learned everything.  You only have to remember it.”
George Burns

If I had thought about it…
“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment.  The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.”
Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” Notepads.

Wet Blankets
In October, 1903 an astronomer named Simon Newcombe said human flight was “utterly impossible.”

In 1949, Popular Mechanics magazine forecasted a bleak future for computers, stating that, “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, Chairman and Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943.

“Everything that can be invented, has been invented.”
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U. S. Office of Patents, 1899

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.”
Albert Szent-Gyorgy

“I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.”
Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Albert Einstein

“If you keep trying only that which you have tried, you can only expect to get the results that you’ve always gotten.”
“Insanity is doing the same thing today that you did yesterday while continuing to expect different results.”

“Research is turning money into knowledge.  Innovation is turning knowledge into money.”
The Bayer Corporation

Inventions are fun but innovations are profitable!
Donald Hegland (Editor – Assembly Magazine)

Good Story (one of many variants)
A computer company had a seemingly impossible problem with a very expensive machine.  Staff engineers tried everything they could think of but they couldn’t fix it.  Desperately, they contacted a retired engineer with a reputation for repairing all things technical.
The engineer spent a day studying the huge machine.  With a piece of chalk he marked the trouble spot with an X.  The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.  But when the company’s accountants received the engineer’s bill for $50000  they demanded an itemized tally of his charges.
The engineer responded: One chalk mark, $1.
Knowing where to put it $49999.

Thomas Edison Quotes
“Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. Accordingly, a  ‘genius’ is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.”

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

“My principal business is giving commercial value to the brilliant – but misdirected – ideas of others….”

“I am quite correctly described as ‘more of a sponge than an inventor….”