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Worst Technology Predictions of All Time

Worst Technology Predictions of All Time

10 AD: “Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for future investments.” ~Julius Frontenas, Roman Senator

1825: “What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice the speed of stagecoaches?” ~Quarterly Review Reporter

1876: "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not.  We have plenty of messenger boys." ~William Preece, British Post Office

1876: "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." ~William Orton, President of Western Union

1878: “When the Paris exhibition closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.” ~Erasmus Wilson, Oxford University Professor

1889: “Fooling around with alternating current (AC) is just a waste of time.  Nobody will use it, ever.” ~Thomas Edison

1899: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” ~Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents

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 his 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, 20th Century Fox

1955: "Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years." ~Alex Lewyt, Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company

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.

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

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

1966: "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” ~Time Magazine

1977: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” ~Founder of Digital Equipment Corp Ken Olsen in a speech to the World Future Society

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

1996: “Apple [is] a chaotic mess without a strategic vision and certainly no future.” ~Time Magazine

1996: “Apple’s erratic performance has given it the reputation on Wall Street of a stock a long-term investor would probably avoid.” ~Fortune

1996: “Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It’s so classic. It’s so sad.” ~a Forrester Research analyst quoted in the New York Times

1997: “Apple is already dead.” ~former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold

1998:By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.” ~Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize Winning Economist

2002: “Within five years, I predict [the tablet] will be the most popular form of PC sold in America.” ~Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a speech at Comdex introducing the Windows tablet PC

2003: “The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt.” ~Steve Jobs interview with Rolling Stone

2004: “Two years from now, spam will be solved.” ~Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum

2005: "There's just not that many videos I want to watch." ~Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube expressing concerns about his company’s long-term viability

2006: "Everyone's always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone.  My answer is, 'Probably never.'" ~David Pogue, New York Times

2007: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” ~Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.


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The Scott Loper Team

Scott & Lisa Loper

Scott Loper Team at Keller Williams Real Estate


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