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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

9 All-Time Bad Tech Predictions

The prediction business is always like walking a tightrope over a waterfall. You're a lot more likely to fall off than make it to the other side. Here are a few of the most egregious forward-looking flubs of the past 109 years, courtesy of Info World:
  • "Everything that can be invented, has been invented." - Charles Duell, Commissioner of the US Patent Office, 1899
  • "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943
  • "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
  • "Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years." - Alex Lewyt, president of Lewyt vacuum company, 1955
  • "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
  • "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
  • "Apple is already dead." - Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft CTO, 1997
  • "Two years from now, spam will be solved." - Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, 2004
  • "The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a mouse. There is no evidence that people want to use these things." - John Dvorak, noted tech writer and columnist, February 1984.
After the upcoming CES, NAMM and NAPTE conferences this month, I'll provide some trends and music and technology predictions for 2009.  Stay tuned!

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