Tuesday, January 27, 2009

7 Worst Technological Predictions of All Times

In a highly technological world as the one we live in, it's hard to remember that - not that long ago - some "enlighted" visionaires predicted a few things that... well... you better read it yourself.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

Sure, he was talking about computers that took an entire (large) room to install... how could he predict we would be carrying around more computer power with us today (in our cellphones, wristwatches, etc) than they had back then?

"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

... couldn't agree more!

"Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years."
Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum manufacturer Lewyt Corp., 1955

Not only he was wrong, as we unfortunately would now need super-duper vacuum cleaners to clean messy situations like chernobyl... :/

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

Certainly not!

"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

The Internet did - in fact - go Supernova... so, he was only "half wrong", about the all "collapse" thing...
This case was more interesting because he promised to eat his words if his prediction turned out to be wrong.
... and contrary to what you might believe... he really kept is promise and ate a printed copy if his words at his keynote speech at the International World Wide Web Conference in 1999.
(If all politicians were like that, I'm sure we'd live in a much better world.)

"Apple is already dead."
Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft chief technology officer, 1997

... will someone let him know they seem to have came back to life?.. oh.. I'm sure they've noticed it by now.

"Two years from now, spam will be solved."
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, 2004

... yes, right along viruses and Blue Screens of Death...
(hmmm... I wonder why he didn't promise to eat his words like the other guy?)

via [MSN]

...  Just keep in mind that, just as you're laughing from these predictions right now, you might be hearing (and believing) something similar someone is saying today. So... be sure to always keep an healthy dose of skepticism... no mather what anyone tells you.

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