May 5th, 2011
“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.”
— Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.
“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
-A memo at Western Union, 1878.
“It’s a great invention but who would want to use it anyway?”
-Rutherford B. Hayes, U.S. President, after a demonstration of Alexander Bell’s telephone, 1876.
The people we trust as the experts are often proved wrong. History is a sobering reality when hindsight is 20/20. These three quotes are all about how useless the telephone would be. Think about how incredible that is. These words came from the most valuable sources on the subject. Society trusts these people to be right. It would be like saying there is no future with the internet. Think about that!
I am compiling these Ignore the Experts posts as a means of inspiration, for those days when you just don’t think you know what to believe. The idea is that we hear from every angle how things ought to be, how things will be, and how things are. But the truth is we ought to ignore the advice. We should create and live with passion. We should become the experts and redefine what is possible.
Two years ago I had never even sat on a motorcycle, let alone ever ridden one. I moved to San Diego from Chicago and decided to get a motorcycle. And not just get a motorcycle. I wanted to learn how to ride them, how to work on them, and how to completely rebuild them. My brother flew out and taught me to ride. From there, I’ve tried and failed often. I still try and fail. I’ve also completely rebuilt a 1969 Honda CB350 and I am currently working on a 1947 CZ 125cc two-stoke. I’ve been stranded on the road more times that I care to remember. I’ve cut up my knuckles and bruised my ego and I still come back for more. Just yesterday I broke down on the highway. It happens. It’s all part of becoming the expert.
So now I ask you, what are you doing to get there?