Tuesday 7 September 2010

2020 hindsight – wildly erroneous predictions

Originally uploaded by The.Rohit
Many of you will have heard these before, but it's a good collection of predictions which (with 2020 hindsight) were way off.

”Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
--Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

”I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.’
--Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

”I have travelled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”
--The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

”But what ... is it good for?”
--Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

”There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
--Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp.,1977

”This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
--Western Union internal memo, 1876.

”The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value.Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”
--David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

”Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
--H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

”I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not
Gary Cooper.”--Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”

”We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.’
--Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

”Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
--Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

”Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”
--Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

”Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”
--Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

”Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
--Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.

”Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”
--Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

”The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”
--Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

And a classic quote from “640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
- Bill Gates 1987

1 comment:

Md Santo said...

From my point of view, all those good collection of predictions which (with 2020 hindsight) were way off, proving that Black Swan phenomenon often occurs in the human history. The Black Swan Theory is used by Nassim Nicholas Taleb ( “BLACK SWAN – THE IMPACT OF THE HIGHLY IMPROBABLE”, 2007 ) to explain the existence and occurrence of high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations. ...(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory) The criterion of the phenomenon are ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory ) : 1.The event is a surprise (to the observer). 2.The event has a major impact. 3. After the fact, the event is rationalized by hindsight, as if it had been expected. The predisposing driving factors are : the very prominent Emergent Property and Butterfly Effect of strong Complex (Eco - Chaotic - Adaptive) System ( http://mobeeknowledge.ning.com/forum/topics/black-swan-long-tail-economy )

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