Negative Thoughts Can Hold Back Progress & Hurt Profits

Negative thinking is more than just disheartening — it can actually hurt your business. What would have happened if the world had listened to these naysayers?

  • "Everything that can be invented has been invented." — The Commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents urging President McKinley to abolish his agency in 1899.
  • "The cinema is little more than a fad. It's canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on stage." — Charlie Chaplin, 1916.
  • Chauncy M. Depew warned his nephew not to invest $5,000 in Ford stock because nothing could come along that would be better than the horse.
  • In Germany, experts insisted that if trains went at the frightful speed of 15 miles an hour, blood would spurt from the traveler's nose and passengers would suffocate going through tunnels.
  • Joshua Coppersmith was arrested in Boston for trying to sell telephone stock. All well-informed people knew that it was impossible to transmit the human voice over a wire.
  • In 1907, Lee de Forest produced the radio tube in workable form. When he wasn't able to sell his patent, he let it lapse rather than pay $25 for its renewal.
  • When Leroy Buffington took out patents for the steel-framed skyscraper in 1888, Architectural News predicted that the expansion and contraction of iron would crack all the plaster, eventually leaving only the shell.
  • After the New York YWCA announced typing lessons in 1881, vigorous protests were made on the grounds that women would break down under the strain.
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt dismissed George Westinghouse and his new air brakes for trains, saying he had no time for fools.
  • When rayon was first put on the market, it was declared a transient fad by a committee appointed by silk manufacturers to study its possibilities.
  • Men insisted that iron ships would not float and they would damage more easily than wooden ships when grounding. In addition, it would be difficult to preserve the bottoms from rust and the iron would deflect the compass.

​"Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will." - Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker

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