Besides that it’s full of heart, I love that this is what a bunch of guys came up with for a song that has lyrics about being on holiday and having fun on an island in the sun (when they could have gone in so many other dubious directions… 🙂
When people believe in themselves, instead of the “experts”… (I haven’t been able to find who to credit for these.)
“A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.”
Response to Debbi Fields‘ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.
“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.
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
Decca Recording Co., rejecting the Beatles, 1962
“You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can’t be done. It’s just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training.”
Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the “unsolvable” problem by inventing Nautilus
“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft, 1981
“So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.'”
Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.
“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.
“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”
David Sarnoff‘s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.”
A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith‘s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express.
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895
Steve Prefontaine: “It’s the hardest thing in the world to believe in something—if you do, it’s a miracle.”
(I’d add: sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to believe in yourself, and your dreams.)
Prefontaine: “There’s always someone trying to talk you out of what you believe in—anyone, everyone, your own mother… all I know is that if you do believe in something, you tend to make people very, very nervous.”
Prefontaine: You & Barbara, do you believe in the same things?
Bowerman (his coach): I have no idea….
Prefontainte: How do you get along so well?
Bowerman: Well, I don’t have to know what she believes in. I believe in her.
Jack Kerouac, Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings
Remember above all things, Kid, that to write is not difficult, not painful, that it comes out of you with ease. that you can whip up a little tale in no time, that when you are sincere about it, that when you want to impress a truth, it is not difficult, not painful, but easy, graceful, full of smooth power, as if you were a writing machine with a store of literature that is boundless, enormous, endless, and rich. For it is true; this is so. Do not forget it in your gloomier moments.
Make your stuff warm, drive it home American-wise, don’t mind critics, don’t mind the stuffy academic theses of scholars, they don’t know what they’re talking about, they’re way off the track, they’re cold; you’re warm, you’re redhot, you can write all day, you know what you know…”
September 29, 2003
How do I live out all of my days, if not in the promise that one day I will be full? And how do I suffer, if not in the hollow of this emptiness that is starving me? I am sinner and saint, but I can say finally, ‘I am hungry, and I have lost everything looking for the morsel that will be my redemption.’ I have not starved lightly; it has been no small feat. And I have not bled lightly; it has been everything I had. But I am still here, and I am no closer, it seems, to my deliverance than I was on the first day I woke up to my hunger.
My pain is certainly a manufactured one, but it is still my pain. And this hunger has been my secret, but it was always known to me. The craving that fills every breath is the thing I call ‘life’. The dying that stares at me every day is the thing I call ‘human’. I am lowly and base and reduced to my simplest desires. I am nothing of what I wish I was. And I am striving only and finally for a meal and a peaceful end.
We are not holy or lovely, and we are not kind. And it is in this speck of matter, this moment of human starving—it was in this that the seed of light was placed and is growing. I am the most unlikely soil. It seems almost impossible that transcendence begins here; it seems almost ridiculous. But I, the lowest speck, the basest fear, and the most overwhelming hunger—I am the beginning, and I will be the end. And all light that invades experience happens not in spite of me but because of me, all hope built on my most unlikely form. And that one who seems to never have enough killing will be the one to liberate this world.
There is no stranger circumstance and none more certain than this: that we are base and we are God. And there is no conflict. If it was in this form that light was entrusted, then it must be so for a reason. And though you may understand nothing of the reason, understand this that you are, believe in this that you are. And understand that light knows best and would not pick a soil in which it could not grow.
I heard a definition many years ago: “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”
I cannot dance, O Lord
Unless you lead me.
If you wish me to leap joyfully,
Let me see You dance and sing
Then I will leap into Love
And from Love into Knowledge
And from Knowledge into the Harvest
That sweetest fruit beyond human sense
There I will stay with You, whirling.
Mechtild of Magdeburg