A Timeline of Failed Tech Predictions

A Timeline of Failed Tech Predictions

A Timeline of Failed Tech Predictions

In the realm of technology, predictions about the future are famously hard to make.

Technology evolves at a logarithmic pace. Even small incremental changes over time can compound to create an entirely different business reality in the future. Entire industries can be created or changed out of nowhere, as companies go from “zero to one”, as Peter Thiel might say.

Today’s infographic celebrates those that were in positions of strength that were brave enough (or foolish enough) to make bold predictions about the future of technology. Failed predictions are made from a variety of people including economist Paul Krugman, the President of IBM, the co-founder of Youtube, a Roman Senator, and the co-founder of Warner Brothers.

We do note, however, that this infographic is missing our favorite failed tech prediction of all time made by Ken Olsen, the founder of Digital Equipment Corp., in a 1977 speech to the World Future Society:

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.

It’s important to realize that this was made after the first personal computers were released. It was in 1975 that the original personal computer came out, and Apple released its Apple I computer in 1976. The following year, Apple released the now famous Apple II and Commodore put out the PET, a precursor to the Commodore 64.

The Apple II product line, by the way, sold close to six million computers by the time it was discontinued. Today, even the amount of “things” connected to the internet is predicted to reach 50 billion by 2020.

Original graphic by: SSLs


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