People are spectacularly bad at predicting the future. Most correct predictions come from someone who’s made a bundle of incorrect ones as well, so much so that it’s more accurate to say “no one is wrong all the time” than giving them credit for what they got right.
The number of articles I see where it says something like “this person who accurately predicted the 2008 recession says…” followed by what is soon enough shown to be a wrong prediction.
All those investments throw out that disclaimer “past performance is not an indicator of future success” yet when people open their mouths that seems to be forgotten.
I wish I could give this more than one like.
I completely agree with the article etc, but it was interesting to view these with a different take:
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943
As we head into 2024 there will be about five dominant cloud computer vendors that will have about 98% of the market. If AWS, Azure, GCP (and ironically IBM/Kyndryl) etc turned off we’d not have a lot left. Maybe Tommy was just a bit early?
“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
Traditional cable TV is really dying. People use their phones, pads and the streaming. Only old people really watch TV anymore, so maybe Darryl was just a bit early?
Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years.
Alex Lewyt, president of Lewyt vacuum company, 1955
Yeah, I got nothing…
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
No-one is buying desktop computers anymore. Even laptops aren’t doing great. Maybe Ken was thinking that people would be using phones, pads and gaming consoles ahead of his time?
“Apple is already dead.”
Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft CTO, 1997
In August 1997 Gates put $150m into Apple to keep it alive, as they needed a zombie partner to stop the government going after them (more) for monopoly naughtiness, so in some ways this was right but then that CTO did stuff to change the prediction, so that’s cheating?
Well depending on where you live, they are atomic powered. The power just comes out the plug in the wall, but it started life in a nuclear reactor.
My Mrs is just getting her rolling pin out!
Oops, doesn’t that sort of quantify the statement!
People stopped staring at a plywood box across the room so they could stare at a plastic slab in their hands.
To quote Henry Jones, Sr “Our situation has not notably improved.”