Over the years, a lot of technology predictions have appeared. We divide this post into two levels of predictions. First, we look at several “way-off” past technology predictions. Second, we examine future technology predictions. Which of those future technology predictions will be correct? Which will be “way-off”?
“[Consider] an old saying. “Predicting the future is easy … getting it right hard.” Today, we greet a large supply of forecasters trying to predict the future. The interesting part looks at the past to see who was right and who missed.“
“Many past technology predictions became famous by how wrong they were. Consider IBM Chairman Watson’s 1943 quote on “a world market for maybe 5 computers.”
Further, Szczerba cites examples of incorrect predictions. The technology predictions span 130 years. For his full list, click the link:
Especially “Way-Off” Past Technology Predictions
1876: Indeed, “this ‘telephone’ contains too many shortcomings to seriously consider as a means of communication.” — William Orton, President of Western Union.
1889: “As usual, “fooling around with alternating current (AC) just wastes time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison
1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.
1946: “In short, “television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will get tired of staring at a plywood box.” — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox.
1955: Yet “nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.” — Alex Lewyt, President of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company.
1959: “Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered in hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” — Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General.
1966: “Remote shopping, while feasible, will flop.” — Time Magazine.
1981: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor.
1995: “I predict the Internet will in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com.
2005: Still “there’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” — Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube.
2006: Indeed, “everyone’s always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone. My answer, ‘Probably never.'” — David Pogue, New York Times.
2007: After all, “there’s no chance that the iPhone attains any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.
Future Technology Predictions
Above all, the infographic adds to our knowledge base. Our past posts include: “A Look Back at Some WAY Off Predictions.” “Bloomberg 2016 Forecasts.” “2017 Global Economic Prospects from the World Bank.“