35 Mind-Blowing Nicholas Negroponte Quotes

Nicholas Negroponte is a Greek American architect and founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. Negroponte is also the founder of the One Laptop per Child Association. Teaching between MIT, Yale, and Berkeley; Negroponte is also an active angel investor having invested in more than thirty companies over the last three decades. Here is a look at some of the best Nicholas Negroponte quotes ever documented.

“Big companies are looking closer term, and even the most technological companies spend less than 1% of sales on research. Startups have suffered the burst bubble.”

“Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living. Whatever big problem you can imagine, from world peace to the environment to hunger to poverty, the solution always includes education.”

“Digital living will include less and less dependence upon being in a specific place at a specific time, and the transmission of place itself will start to become possible.”

“Google has a very powerful and new advertising model that, for them, prints money.”

“I grew up with free television. Now, it wasn’t free, there was these commercials, and so the economic model was driven through commercials and through advertising.”

“I think life’s turning into an omelet and people will just have to live with that.”


“If you take any world problem, any issue on the planet, the solution to that problem certainly includes education. In education, the roadblock is the laptop.”

“I’m not against paying at all. What I’m against is the complexity of paying. And you very often go to a website and you try to click on something and sometimes it will even say it’s free, but you have to fill out this form.”

“It makes no sense to ship atoms when you can ship bits.”

“It’s even hard for people to imagine today that telephones were wired, and they certainly were and you went to the end of a wire to make a phone call.”

“It’s hard to propose a $100 laptop for a world community of kids and then not say in the same breath that you’re going to depend on the community to make software for it.”

“It’s not computer literacy that we should be working on, but sort of human-literacy. Computers have to become human-literate.”

“I’ve spent my whole life worrying about the human-computer interface, so I don’t want to suggest that what we have today is even close to acceptable.”

“Kids drop out of school mostly because school is boring and not particularly relevant.”

“Machines need to talk easily to one another in order to better serve people.”

“MIT is governed by a second, even higher rule: the inalienable right of academic freedom.”

“My advice to graduates is to do anything except what you are trained for. Take that training to a place where it is out of place and stimulate ideas, shake up establishments, and don’t take no for an answer.”

“One of the basics of a good system of innovation is diversity. In some ways, the stronger the culture (national, institutional, generational, or other), the less likely it is to harbor innovative thinking.”

“Programming allows you to think about thinking, and while debugging you learn learning.”

“Rote learning is a killer for most of us and for some people, it really excludes them.”

“Suppression of innovation need not be overt. It can be simply a matter of peoples walking around in tacit agreement and full comfort with the status quo.”

“Taxes will eventually become a voluntary process, with the possible exception of real estate-the one physical thing that does not move easily and has computable value.”

“The ability to make big leaps of thought is a common denominator among the originators of breakthrough ideas.”

“The best way to guarantee a steady stream of new ideas is to make sure that each person in your organization is as different as possible from the others.”

“The best way to maximize differences is to mix ages, cultures, and disciplines.”

“The change from atoms to bits is irrevocable and unstoppable. Why now? Because the change is also exponential – small differences of yesterday can have suddenly shocking consequences tomorrow.”

“The laptop brings back a more seamless kind of learning.”

“There is a belief that children drop out of school because they’re needed by their families to work, or the little girls are needed to take care of younger siblings. It turns out that’s not really true.”

“We need to depend more on peer-to-peer and self-driven learning. The laptop is one important means of doing that.”

“What’s the difference between obsolete and cutting edge? Obsolete works.”

“When we go to school, very often, we don’t see that passion because the way school is run, the disciplinary nature of it and the rote learning are so, sort of, offensive actually, that children sort of lose that passion more often than not.”

“Where do new ideas come from? The answer is simple: differences. While there are many theories of creativity, the only tenet they all share is that creativity comes from unlikely juxtapositions.”

“You can see the future best through peripheral vision.”

“You go to developing countries today and you’ll find automobiles that you haven’t seen since you’re childhood and that’s because they really are valuable, they’re taken care of, they’re repaired, and when something breaks, they just don’t buy a new one, they actually fix it.”

“Young people, I happen to believe, are the world’s most precious natural resource.”

Nicholas Negroponte takes a look back at the last thirty years in tech and some of the biggest highlights he experienced in his career. From productions to new innovations, this video will awe you.

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