Friday, December 28, 2007


Some reminders of ....ah.... errors in forecasting, from The Shepherd:

"Who in their right mind would ever need more than 640k of ram!?"-- Bill Gates, 1981

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."-- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

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

"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."-- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"But what ... is it (the microchip) good for?"-- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968,

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."-- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

"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 internal memo, 1876.

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"-- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio- 1920s.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible."-- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

OK. Now on to Global Warming!!


Chironomo said...

Always loved the quote about "5 computers worldwide"... and as for global warming, the National Hurricane Center can't tell us about the weather activity for the next month accurately let alone 100 years from now. BTW... where on Fr.Z's blog did I get ripped? I post a lot of responses there but couldn't find anywhere that I was taken to task...

Anonymous said...

Your point can be applied infavor of the unknowables about global warming as easily as it can against them.

Brother James said...

Never underestimate the power of porn to push the proliferation of technology, like color printing, VHS video, cable TV, computers, high-speed internet, DVDs, and WiFi.