Een paar paradigmatische uitspraken van autoriteiten die 'het' wisten en dachten dat 'dat' de waarheid was. Dat laatste wordt paradigmaverlamming genoemd. Paradigmaverlamming is een dodelijke vorm van zekerheid die eenvoudig op te lopen is en waar vele organisaties aan zijn bezweken. Paradigmaflexibiliteit, je eigen paradigma's kunnen stretchen, is hiertegen een goed medicijn. En dat medicijn poog ik me zelf ook regelmatig toe te dienen. Ook al smaakt het af en toe wat bitter.
"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.)
"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's idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." — Lord Kelvin, British mathematician, physicist, and president of the British Royal Society, circa 1895
"[Airplanes] are interesting toys but of no military value." — Marechal Ferdinand Foch, professor of strategy and commandant of Superieure de Guerre, 1911
"The thought of being President frightens me. I do not think I want the job." — Ronald Reagan, Governor of California, 1973
"By 1980 all 'power' (electric, atomic, solar) is likely to be virtually costless." — Henry Luce, Founder of Time, Life, and Fortune magazines in 1956
"A few decades hence, energy may be free–just like the unmetered air." — John von Neuman, American Scientist in 1956
"By 1980 we will be self-sufficient and will not need to rely on foreign enemies . . . uh, energy." — Richard Nixon, 1973
"With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market for itself." — Business Week, 8/2/68
"I would have made a good pope." — Richard Nixon, 1980
"The French people are incapable of regicide." — King Louis XVI of France, circa 1789, (he was convicted of treason and beheaded in 1793)
"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 cinema is little more than a fad. It's canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage." — Charlie Chaplin, circa 1916
"[Louis Pasteur's] theory of germs is a ridiculous fiction." — Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse 1872
"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people in business administration. I can assure you on the highest authority that data processing is a fad and won't last out the year." — The editor in charge of business books at Prentice-Hall, responding to Karl V. Karstrom (a junior editor who recommended a manuscript about data processing), circa 1957.
"You'll never work again!" — Allan Williams (John Lennon's first manager) to Lennon in 1961 after a fight with his client.