Why “Obviously Wrong”?

Dude. Why is your blog called Obviously Wrong? That’s weird.

— Everyone, Today

There’s a time-honored tradition here—

The Telephone


Having just invented the telephone, back in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell offered to just sell the patent to Western Union for $100,000. They turned him down:

Why would anyone want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can just send a messenger to the telegraph office and have a clear written message sent to any large city in the United States?

— some guy at Western Union


Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.

— some astrophysics professor, two months before the Wright Brothers took their first flight


The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad.

— a smart guy at a bank in 1903, telling someone to ghost Henry Ford on his investment pitch for cars


Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?

— the CEO of Warner Brothers, 1927

Telephones (Again…)

You’d think people would learn, right? Nope.

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.

— Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO), 2007



The Dumbest, Craziest, Most “Obviously Wrong” Ideas…

You get the drift, I think.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Apple, 1997

Over the years, I’ve discovered that the dumbest, craziest, most “obviously wrong” ideas sometimes turn out to be the most obviously right in hindsight. Rather than ignore it (or, worse: pretend we were always right), I choose to embrace that.

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