Giving Thanks For Innovation & Perseverance

Yesterday I had an incredible conversation with two legal innovators from the academic world who absolutely blew me away with their vision and how they are quite possibly already changing the face of legal education across the world.  Yes, across the world because their project partners include law schools not only in the United States (including Harvard and Stanford), but the U.K, China, Australia and more.  I’ll get into further detail in a future post but suffice it to say, I am extremely honored to now be a part of their team and their vision.

Additionally, while I am thankful for many things in my life, including celebrating my fourth anniversary blogging first at Build A Solo Practice, LLC and now Solo Practice University®, this Thanksgiving I wanted to give thanks to all the innovators ; those who have rejected those brilliant and highly decorated minds who were so sure that what they wanted to do simply could not be done. If people who innovated constantly backed down in the face of an ‘authority’ who said their idea was ridiculous, not worthy, not needed, implausible and a waste of time, where would we be today?

This post is for all lawyers who saw a need and became innovators and entrepreneurs within the profession while practicing law or as a result of practicing law earlier in their career are now changing the way future lawyers will learn or practice law. We know there are plenty of others out there who would tell you that you haven’t a clue or somehow not a real lawyer.

And this is for all of you solo practitioners who are giving it a go on your terms and deciding that just maybe you do have a clue and are willing to risk failure or don’t care you might look foolish while pursuing your dream. Because when it comes right down to it…it’s your dream.

This post is for all of you:

Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.”

– Dr. Lee DeForest, “Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television.”

“The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.”
- – Admiral William Leahy , US Atomic Bomb Project

“There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.”
– Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
– Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
– Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”
–The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

“But what is it good for?”
– Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
– Bill Gates, 1981

This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
– Western Union internal memo, 1876.

“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 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 Corp.)

“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper,”
–Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”

“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’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,”
– Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible,”
– Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment.
The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this,”

- – Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” Notepads.

“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy,”
– Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
– Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University , 1929.

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value,”
– Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre , France .

“Everything that can be invented has been invented,”
– Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.

“The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required.”
– Professor of Electrical Engineering, New York University

“I don’t know what use any one could find for a machine that would make copies of documents. It certainly couldn’t be a feasible business by itself.”
– the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox.

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”
– Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse , 1872

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon,”
– Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

And last but not least…

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
– Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

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