August 19, 2011 •
Highlighted Site Of The Week – Timeline of Failed Predictions
Most innovative ideas that have changed the world as we know it had just as many doubters as supporters. With hindsight it is easy to say the opposition of such innovations such as the telephone and computer must have been short-sighted and unimaginative. While this could be true, there may have been good reasons for their doubt, but without knowing what their reasons were, it is very entertaining to look at the doubtlessly inaccurate predictions people have made in the past.
Today’s Highlighted Site Of The Week is a Timeline of Failed Predictions that is posted on FastCompany.com. The author compiled a chronological list of over 80 predictions that contradict what actually happened beginning in the 1700s all the way up to the 21st century.
These predictions include failed predictions for nearly every topic including politics, technology, “fads” such as the car and radio, and music.
Some of my favorites were:
“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, 1878.”
“Four or five frigates will do the business without any military force.” – British Prime Minister Lord North, on dealing with the rebellious American colonies, 1774.”
“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.” -Associates of Edwin L. Drake on his suggestion to drill for oil in 1859.”
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olson, president, chairman, and founder of Digital Equipment Corp, 1977.”
“The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works” – Clifford Stoll, 1995.”
It’s amazing to think of what would have happened if some of these predictions would have been right.
Have a great weekend!
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