Worst Tech Predictions Ever
If I think hard enough, I can let my mind take me back to life without a cell phone or a computer in my home. Everything is clear as I remember it, life was going along beautifully.
Then what happened? What we thought was only make believe stuff for Star Trek, all of a sudden have become almost as important as oxygen in our daily lives.
Growing up I always thought how my grandma must have had to really deal with changes in the world. Things like cars, telephones, airplanes and a man on the moon.
Now I believe she got off easy compared to me. I’ve not only been exposed to new technology, but I’ve had to learn how to run it at home and at my job.
Let’s see how the rest of the world reacted to the new high tech ideas as they came into existence. Some of the experts were so wrong, I think they may still be in hiding.
Mark Spoonauer, editor-in-chief of Laptopmag.com, assembled a list of the worst tech predictions of all time. Here are my 5 favorite:
- The iPhone has no chance. The prediction: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” –Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO in USA Today in April 2007. What really happened: The iPhone has captured 42 percent of the U.S. smartphone market share and 13.1 percent of the worldwide market.
- Who needs a home PC? The prediction: “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” –Ken Olson, president Digital Equipment Corp. at the World Future Society meeting in Boston in 1977. What really happened: Just about everyone has a home computer or two or three. (We have 4 last count)
- Remote shopping will flop. The prediction: “Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop because women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise, like to be able to change their minds.” –TIME magazine in 1966. What really happened: In 2012, e-commerce sales from all sites topped $1 trillion. Apparently women have more important and interesting things to do now than handle merchandise.
- The Internet will collapse. The prediction: “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” –Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet, in InfoWorld in 1995. What really happened: So far, so good. It’s holding up OK.
- Landlines rule. The prediction: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems. Even if you project it beyond our lifetimes, it won’t be cheap enough.” –Marty Cooper, director of research at Motorola, in the Christian Science Monitor in 1981. What really happened: In case you didn’t know, Marty Cooper is credited as being the father of the cell phone, and even he didn’t foresee its potential. On the other hand, cell phones, which were the size of bricks, were outrageously expensive then. But he had no idea how cell phones would free people to be so mobile and still connected. Today, only 8 percent of adults have a landline phone and no mobile phone.