It is of common knowledge that technological evolution has astounding pace. This makes it impossible to deliver tech predictions. Every minute technology gives something awesome that drives you crazy. However, many tech pundits tried to forecast about upcoming technologies and that went doozy and funny. The most ironic thing about these predictions are that they are predicted by highly reputed people or publications. Let’s have a plunge in such predictions-
“No one will need more than 637KB of memory for a personal computer. 640KB ought to be enough for anybody.” –Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft
Bill gates has been denying for a very long time that he ever said these words. ‘I shall prefer 8GB internal and expandable memory device.’ That’ how it sounds in tablet computer shops these days.
Evolution from floppy disk to hard disk to memory cards to external disk has created a boom in the market. If it were true, I wonder if Bill Gates was cognizant about how one day people would be looking for online data storage.
“Windows Phone will be No. 2 in Smartphones by 2015,” — IDC, Gartner, IHS
Then, where would we put iPhones, Samsung Galaxy and Blackberry etc.? It seemed like collaboration of Microsoft and Nokia is about to create some buzz, but Lumia led to a little market share yet. Hope Windows Phones do perform better when it comes to smartphones after 2015.
“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, 2006.
Here I would say that David tried to scotch the first rumor for Apple iPhone series. Cell phone technology got evolved thereafter by Apple and handy devices like iPhones and iPads created milestones in the technology history.
“Television won’t be able to hold onto any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” –Daryl Zanuck, film producer, co-founder of 20th Century Fox, 1946.
Never heard of getting tired from entertainment! Whether it is plywood box or a flat screen HD, people watch even the same channel every night. For decades, Television occupied a significant market share. Even the personal computer couldn’t replace Televisions at home.
“Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” — Time Magazine, 1966.
Time Magazine’s reasoning is that women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise and like to be able to change their minds. Today, EBay and Amazon are big giants of online market and their sales turnover is in billions.
“Fooling around with alternating current (AC) is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison, 1889.
This is not the only such statement by Edison, he has given many foggy predictions of the future. Wonder if the inventor of light-bulb could see its consumptions at home.
“I predict that the Internet in 1996 will catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, 1995.
Not expected, the inventor of Ethernet would say this being unaware of the power of the internet. Needless to say, the internet has gone so far that nothing is predictable.
“There is practically no chance that for communication space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.” –T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, 1961.
The prediction was spectacularly wrong. The service providers of communication channels bid high to buy a bandwidth operated by space satellites.
“The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt.” — Steve Jobs, 2003.
Steve was correct on a few predictions including iPod as a turning point for the music industry, but then he was entirely wrong about subscription model of buying music.
“There’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” –Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube, 2005.
Today, YouTube says that 300 hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, three times more than one year earlier and the site has 800 million unique users a month.
Such failed predictions by inventors or CEO has a long list that led to nowhere or resulted in a big fuss.