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"Nobody knows anything"

It’s not just music bosses who have sometimes erred horribly. Publishers rejected C.S Lewis, Agatha Christie, Dr Seuss and J.K. Rowling many times before they went on to sell millions of books. And the producers of countless blockbuster films - including Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark - have tales of how the Hollywood studios rejected their ideas.

This inability extends way beyond the entertainment business. The telephone “is inherently of no value to us” wrote Western Union bosses in 1876. “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value” said some bosses at RCA. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home” said Ken Olson of DEC in 1977. TV’s Dragons’ Den is following this pattern; the dragons have turned down several successful ideas.

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