Groups

    The absolute worst technology predictions of the past 150 years

    36 Comments

    Original Poster

    Thought it would be interest to others, quite surprising

    1876: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” — William Orton, President of Western Union.
    1876: “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — Sir William Preece, chief engineer, British Post Office.
    1889: “Fooling around with alternating current (AC) is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison.
    1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty — a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.
    1921: “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” — Associates of David Sarnoff responding to the latter’s call for investment in the radio.
    1926: “While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.” — Lee DeForest, “Father of Radio” and a pioneer in the development of sound-on-film recording used for motion pictures. He had over 180 patents.
    1932: “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” — Albert Einstein.
    1936: “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times.
    1946: “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, film producer, co-founder of 20th Century Fox.
    1949: “Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers of the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh one and a half tons.” — Popular Mechanics.
    1957: “I have traveled 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.” — Editor of Prentice Hall business books.
    1959: “The world potential market for copying machines is 5,000 at most.” IBM told the eventual founders of Xerox.
    1961: “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.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner.
    1977: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” — Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp.
    1981: “No one will need more than 637KB of memory for a personal computer. 640KB ought to be enough for anybody.” — Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft.
    1981: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor.
    1989: “We will never make a 32-bit operating system.” — Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft.
    1992: “The idea of a personal communicator in every pocket is a “pipe dream driven by greed.” — Andy Grove, then CEO of Intel.
    1995: “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, inventor of Ethernet.
    2003: “The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt. I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model, and it might not be successful.” — Steve Jobs, in Rolling Stone
    2007: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.
    “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” — Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

    "Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years.” – Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955.
    Edited by: "dozstanford" 1st Feb

    1959: "Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail." — Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General.

    Quite a few quotes by very smart people have gone completely wrong in there. Might be better not to make guesses about the future at all.

    tomorrow's world lied to me when I was a kid.

    How many of these were sarcasm, loaded questions, or taken out of context?

    "We will know within 10 years when the retrospective sarcasm detection device is invented (RSDD for short)" - delusion, 2017

    Original Poster

    shadey12

    tomorrow's world lied to me when I was a kid.



    I agree

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/85c3d15087db6672684f0f15bc9c1c386d3dd875.JPG

    Original Poster

    delusion

    How many of these were sarcasm, loaded questions, or taken out of … How many of these were sarcasm, loaded questions, or taken out of context? "We will know within 10 years when the retrospective sarcasm detection device is invented (RSDD for short)" - delusion, 2017


    set to Ignore

    1981: “No one will need more than 637KB of memory for a personal computer. 640KB ought to be enough for anybody.” — Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft.

    There is no apparent proof that Bill Gates ever said this, its probably a fabrication.

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

    davewave

    1946: “Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures aft … 1946: “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, film producer, co-founder of 20th Century Fox.



    Wow, is that Fox saying stating something I believe? oO

    Screens in general on the other hand...

    davewave

    set to Ignore



    Can't tell if sarcasm...

    Original Poster

    delusion

    Can't tell if sarcasm...


    http://i.imgur.com/dVDJiez.gif

    3d TV is the future. ha ha

    "VR is a fad" - majority of misc.

    Remind me about this thread in 20 years please

    moneysavingkitten

    "VR is a fad" - majority of misc.Remind me about this thread in 20 years … "VR is a fad" - majority of misc.Remind me about this thread in 20 years please



    ​In 20 years, I'll jump on my hoverboard, nip down to my local PAYG time machine, come back to where I'm sat now, read this message and report back ......... I didn't just appear so I guess I'm either dead in 20 years or they don't invent a time machine for the general public by 2037.

    Original Poster

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/eRCKYLjR7yw/maxresdefault.jpg

    2017 - Robot to replace wife.

    Original Poster

    https://mervellelek.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/i-for-one-welcome-meme-generator-i-for-one-welcome-our-new-robot-overlords-a4bfd2.jpg

    Banned

    shadey12

    tomorrow's world lied to me when I was a kid.



    It was still brilliant

    1976: Joe Keenan, President of Atari, said to Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak; "Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, & we're not going to buy your product."

    Jobs was offering their Apple I personal computer kit in exchange for funding, or for a salary for him & Wozniak, to work for Atari.

    2004: Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft, to a select group at the World Economic Forum; "Two years from now, spam will be solved".

    2007: Steve Ballmer, C.E.O of Microsoft, in an interview with "USA Today"; "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

    moneysavingkitten

    "VR is a fad" - majority of misc.Remind me about this thread in 20 years … "VR is a fad" - majority of misc.Remind me about this thread in 20 years please

    shadey12

    ​In 20 years, I'll jump on my hoverboard, nip down to my local PAYG time m … ​In 20 years, I'll jump on my hoverboard, nip down to my local PAYG time machine, come back to where I'm sat now, read this message and report back ......... I didn't just appear so I guess I'm either dead in 20 years or they don't invent a time machine for the general public by 2037.



    As long as you are still alive when it happens, you could use a time machine invented at any point in the (or, your) future & still return twenty years from now.

    shauneco

    2017 - Robot to replace wife.



    ​i heard on good authority, there is a place in america called stepford, if you move there, they replace your wife with a robot.
    I read about it on the internet, so it must be true.

    shadey12

    ​i heard on good authority, there is a place in america called stepford, i … ​i heard on good authority, there is a place in america called stepford, if you move there, they replace your wife with a robot.I read about it on the internet, so it must be true.


    If that had anything to do with Trump then we know it would have had it's on thread

    oh wait....they're having a short break

    fanpages

    1976: Joe Keenan, President of Atari, said to Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak; … 1976: Joe Keenan, President of Atari, said to Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak; "Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, & we're not going to buy your product."Jobs was offering their Apple I personal computer kit in exchange for funding, or for a salary for him & Wozniak, to work for Atari.



    That is not really a prediction but in fact at that time Steve jobs DID stink. He had terrible hygiene problems and did not wash himself or his clothes. He did work for Atari for a while and workmates there kept asking management to get him to shower and tidy himself up. In fact it became such an issue that Steve Jobs started working nights at Atari so he did not have to put up with comments about his hygiene.

    He was also very arrogant and did put his feet on people's desk, even if he was a visitor to people in charge of other companies.

    Worth reading the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

    While there is no denying his second period at Apple was a massive success (the iPhone, iPad, iPod, iTunes etc etc) the first period at Apple was somewhat of a failure (after some initial success). His work on the Lisa computer almost bankrupt the company, being massively over budget and years late and it never sold well.

    He was eventually forced out of the company he founded.

    Even after he left Apple the "Next" computer was mostly a failure and was only "saved" when he rejoined Apple a second time and they bought Next computers to use some of the technology.

    Amazing man and in the end a success, but it was certainly a roller coaster ride for him and anyone who worked with him over the years.

    Edited by: "guilbert53" 1st Feb

    fanpages

    1976: Joe Keenan, President of Atari, said to Steve Jobs & Steve … 1976: Joe Keenan, President of Atari, said to Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak; "Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, & we're not going to buy your product."Jobs was offering their Apple I personal computer kit in exchange for funding, or for a salary for him & Wozniak, to work for Atari.

    guilbert53

    That is not really a prediction but in fact at that time Steve jobs DID … That is not really a prediction but in fact at that time Steve jobs DID stink. He had terrible hygiene problems and did not wash himself or his clothes. He did work for Atari for a while and workmates there kept asking management to get him to shower and tidy himself up. In fact it became such an issue that Steve Jobs started working nights at Atari so he did not have to put up with comments about his hygiene. He was also very arrogant and did put his feet on people's desk, even if he was a visitor to people in charge of other companies. Worth reading the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. While there is no denying his second period at Apple was a massive success (the iPhone, iPad, iPod, iTunes etc etc) the first period at Apple was somewhat of a failure (after some initial success). His work on the Lisa computer almost bankrupt the company, being massively over budget and years late and it never sold well.He was eventually forced out of the company he founded.Even after he left Apple the "Next" computer was mostly a failure and was only "saved" when he rejoined Apple a second time and they bought Next computers to use some of the technology. Amazing man and in the end a success, but it was certainly a roller coaster ride for him and anyone who worked with him over the years.



    "Worth reading the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson" - No thanks, but good summary above.

    shauneco

    2017 - Robot to replace wife.


    I'm guessing it will still say no, not again, shaun. X)

    CookinBat

    I'm guessing it will still say no, not again, shaun. X)



    I would have it reprogrammed ;).

    shauneco

    I would have it reprogrammed ;).


    what about catching a virus though?

    shadey12

    ​In 20 years, I'll jump on my hoverboard, nip down to my local PAYG time m … ​In 20 years, I'll jump on my hoverboard, nip down to my local PAYG time machine, come back to where I'm sat now, read this message and report back ......... I didn't just appear so I guess I'm either dead in 20 years or they don't invent a time machine for the general public by 2037.



    ​Ive set a reminder on Google calendars for feb 1st 2037. If I'm the only one who comes back I'll be disappointed.

    Original Poster

    craigstephens

    ​Ive set a reminder on Google calendars for feb 1st 2037. If I'm the only … ​Ive set a reminder on Google calendars for feb 1st 2037. If I'm the only one who comes back I'll be disappointed.



    ​its cute that you think Google will exist.

    CookinBat

    what about catching a virus though?


    That would be a concern.

    There's one not mentioned.
    Don't have any quotes, but I know that SMS text messages were originally not designed for widespread public use, as the designers never thought it would become popular. How wrong they were

    moneysavingkitten

    "VR is a fad" - majority of misc.Remind me about this thread in 20 … "VR is a fad" - majority of misc.Remind me about this thread in 20 years please

    shadey12

    ​In 20 years, I'll jump on my hoverboard, nip down to my local PAYG time … ​In 20 years, I'll jump on my hoverboard, nip down to my local PAYG time machine, come back to where I'm sat now, read this message and report back ......... I didn't just appear so I guess I'm either dead in 20 years or they don't invent a time machine for the general public by 2037.



    I suspect I am dead then. Or found better things to do with my finite lifespan in the future. No, better things to do sounds far fetched. I must be dead.

    moneysavingkitten

    I suspect I am dead then. Or found better things to do with my finite … I suspect I am dead then. Or found better things to do with my finite lifespan in the future. No, better things to do sounds far fetched. I must be dead.



    ​or is the matrix real.

    shadey12

    ​or is the matrix real.



    Some scientists seem pretty sure were are:

    theguardian.com/tec…rix
    Post a comment
    Avatar
    @
      Text
      Top Discussions
      1. So Brexit isn't going how a lot of Brexiters thought it would2494
      2. Cat Chat76734
      3. Just heard this...2 ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ congrats to all on 392k ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★7767394
      4. U.S. bombers fly off North Korea's coast in show of force1725

      See more discussions