The Myth Of Impossibility

Innovations throughout history are sometimes viewed as literally impossible by the people who didn’t create them and have most to lose from their success:

In 1830 when the French King sent an engineering expert to observe the fast British steam train the Rocket, he declared it impossible, not understanding the developments in boiler design. (source Tony Judt’s book Memory Chalet)

According to Electronista the makers of the Blackberry thought “The iPhone “couldn’t do what [Apple was] demonstrating without an insanely power hungry processor, it must have terrible battery life,” “Imagine their surprise [at RIM] when they disassembled an iPhone for the first time and found that the phone was battery with a tiny logic board strapped to it.”

Just as we have trouble assessing risk, we also have problems assessing what is within the realm of possibility, especially when it conflicts with our own interests.

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