I found this list of the top 30 failed technology predictions so I thought I’d share my ten favorites. Some of them are pretty hilarious.
1. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.
2. “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936.
3. “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903
4. “X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” — Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.
5. “Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889 (Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power).
6. “Home Taping Is Killing Music” — A 1980s campaign by the BPI, claiming that people recording music off the radio onto cassette would destroy the music industry.
7. “The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.” — IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959.
8. “There will never be a bigger plane built.” — A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people
9. “There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.” — T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).
10. “We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” — Bill Gates
Anything you’d add? I wonder what predictions that we are making right now will be undone.