My Favorite Alan Kay Quotes

Alan Kay 1974

Alan Kay 1974 with Xerox Alto computer

Today I have decided to share some of my favorite Alan Kay quotes. These are short words but with context can be very meaningful.


Funny caption, he is basically the inventor of first GUI for Xerox Alto which was the main influence on Mac and Windows desktop GUI. The icons and menu based user interface.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Remarks:ย This quote explains that future is in our hands. It is up to us how we make it. Future is very unpredictable and that is what makes it exciting.

“If you don’t fail at least 90 percent of the time, you’re not aiming high enough.”

Remarks: That is straight forward, don’t get discouraged by failure. Because, if you are failing it means you are doing something new.

“Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.”

Remarks: It is that we live in an environment and what surrounds us is our perspective. So, this quote emphasizesย the value of point of view or context.


There are a lot more quotes and talks by Alan Kay, but I think I will try to cover them in future posts.

More information about Alay Kay can be found on his non-profit “Viewpoints Research Institute” website here.