"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." 1878 Western Union Memo
"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one on particular." - David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920's
"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty - a fad." - Michigan's Savings Bank advising the lawyers of Henry Ford
"The cinema is little more than a fad. It's canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage." - Mr C. Chaplin.
"Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." - Darryl Zanuck
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home" - Ken Olson
Now, what do the above quotations tell us?
On the one hand, you could say that they remind us to ignore the advances of our technology at our peril.
However, on the other hand, I think they more powerfully demonstrate the futility of so-called experts making predictions with about what will or won't happen in the future.
It's something that the advertising business, to its detriment, has become obsessed with in recent years.
Armies of ridiculously named 'futurologists' and 'trend-hunters' telling us that 'everything has changed' and falling over themselves to convince us that there's a pot of gold at the end of some mythical rainbow.
Nest-feathering, militant digital evangelists parroting "TV is dead. TV is dead. TV is dead" without any facts or substance.
Conference upon conference dedicated to new ways of thinking. New ways of doing things. Conjuring up new buzzwords and brainwashing the easily influenced and simple of mind.
It's a sad reality that there are far too many people working in the business today who are more focused on doing something new than doing something good.
If all the energy put into obsessing about the future of marketing was channelled into doing some better work in the here and now, then I'm convinced the overall quality of advertising would improve and standards would rise.
Less talking, more doing.
Because, to misappropriate a famous Keynes quote;
"In the long run we are all dead."