27Dec

15 predictions that were a tad off the mark

Predictions are very difficult ….. especially if it’s about the future!


1876: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” — William Orton, President of Western Union.

1889: “Fooling around with alternating current (AC) is just a waste of 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

1921: “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value.  Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” Associates of David Sarnoff

1946: “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, 20th Century Fox.

1959: “Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles.  We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” — Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General.

1961: “There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States.” — T.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner.

1966: “Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.”— Time Magazine.

1981: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor.

1995: “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com.

2005: “There’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” — Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube expressing concerns about his company’s long term viability.

2006: “Everyone’s always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone.  My answer is, ‘Probably never.'” — David Pogue, The New York Times.

2007: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.

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