Kevin Maney of USA Today deserves a medal for this article, which looks at a half-dozen widely circulated quotes from titans of the tech industry going back more than a century and finds that only one of them is actually legitimate:
Among the quotes is this widely circulated comment attributed to Thomas Watson, builder of IBM, in 1943: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Except it’s doubtful Watson ever said such a thing.
I know this because I wrote a book about Watson. But it also got me thinking: There are about a half-dozen similar quotes that tech people use all the time. These quotes pop up in speeches, on posters, in PowerPoints, during sales talks and in pitches to raise money. They’ve practically become articles of faith in the industry.
But how many of them are real?
As it turns out, only one.
Definitely worth reading and bookmarking, so you can reply next time someone tells you that Bill Gates once said 640K of memory is enough for anyone. (Nope, he never said it.)