Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

9 Times Leaders Missed the Mark on Innovative Thoughts

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Sep 1, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I was recently searching for inspiration on what to write when I came across a list of creativity and innovation quotes.

What I found the most compelling was the list of creativity killers:

  1. "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
    - Charles H. Duell, Director of the U.S. Patent Office, 1899US Patent Office
  2. "Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote."
    - Grover Cleveland, 1905
  3. "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
    - Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros Pictures, 1927
  4. "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom."
    - Robert Miliham, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923 
  5. "Heavier than air flying machines are impossible."
    -Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895
  6. "Ruth made a big mistake when he gave up pitching."
    - Tris Speaker, 1921
  7. "The horse is here today, but the automobile is only a novelty - a fad."
    - President of Michigan Savings Bank advising against investing in the Ford Motor Company
  8. "Video won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first 6 months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."
    - Daryl F. Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, commenting on TV, 1946
  9. "What use could the company make of an electric toy?"
    - Western Union, turning down the rights to the telephone, 1878

Thankfully, each of these people was proved completely wrong by someone who didn't let fear stand in their way.  The Innovation and Emersonnext time an idea seems bigger then you or the company remember this quote:

"In every work of genius, we recognize our once rejected thoughts." 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, stimulus mining

Corie Roudebush Spialek

Written by Corie Roudebush Spialek

Corie is the Director of Operations at the Eureka! Ranch and the Innovation Engineering Institute. For over 12 years she has spent her days, many nights and some weekends running logistics for all things Eureka! and Innovation Engineering. She is a DePauw University graduate who spends her free time at the pool or on the lake with her husband and three kids.

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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