Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Speaking of Bad Predictions...

MSN posted these tech-related predictions that ended up being way off base:

1. "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943. Can you blame him? It was 1943 for Christ's sake. "After all, when IBM's Thomas Watson said 'computer,' he meant 'vacuum-tube-powered adding machine that's as big as a house.' It's fair to say that few people ever wanted one of those, regardless of the size of their desk." I certainly don't have use for one of those, but I do have three computers in my house.

2. "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." -Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th Century Fox, 1946. Unfortunately, we haven't grown tired, so they've decided to fill 98% of the viewing time with poorly educated poeple sans moral standards dating each other in gang-style fashion. Excellent!

3. "Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years." -Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum manufacturer Lewyt Corp., 1955. I'm still holding out for this one to be true--I need more nuclear energy in my home.

4. "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977. I guess internet porn and blogging hadn't been invented yet when Olsen made his prediction.

5. "Almost all of the many predictions now being made about 1996 hinge on the Internet's continuing exponential growth. But I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse." -Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, 1995. At least Metcalfe can admit when he's wrong... "[He] even promised to eat his words if his augury turned out to be wrong. To his credit, Metcalfe made good on that promise in 1999 during his keynote speech at the International World Wide Web Conference, where he blended up a copy of his printed column with some liquid and drank it down before a crowd of onlookers."

6. "Apple is already dead." -Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft chief technology officer, 1997. You kind of have to say that stuff when you work for Microsoft, right?

7. "Two years from now, spam will be solved." -Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, 2004. The article reports that spam is actually nearly 92% of all email messages sent. I'm glad Bill handed the reigns of Microsoft over to somebody a little less silly.

Nice predictions, eh? Now, if I could just get that sweet hoverboard that Michael J. Fox promised me I'd be riding, I'd be set.


Kerri said...

Those were really funny!! Thanks for posting.

Heather said...

My pleasure... I try to bring the funny.