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The 10 Worst Technology Predictions of All-Time

Posted on November 5, 2015 by Christopher Rhines

The original title of this article was going to be Technology Predictions for 2016… you know, because we’re rapidly approaching the end of the year. But as I began compiling and organizing chaotic thought-nuggets into actual predictions, I realized that even with quite a few years of digital marketing experience, these predictions are really just guesses. My purchased-from-Spencer’s crystal ball is deeply buried in the back of a closet somewhere, which meant that I couldn’t even rely on that shiny orb to assist in my prediction-making. Who really knows what technological advances are awaiting us next year?

So instead of throwing some predications against the wall and revisiting a year later to see what has stuck, let’s point and laugh at… The 10 Worst Technology Predictions of All-Time!

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

9. “Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” – Time Magazine [1966]

8. “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 [1946]

7. “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” – Horace Rackham, president of the Michigan Savings Bank, advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Company [1903]

6. “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin [1895]

5. “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, FCC Commissioner [1961]

4. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM [1943]

3. “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 [1932]

2. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” – William Orton, president of Western Union [1876]

1. “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” – Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com [1995]

Do YOU have any tech predictions for 2016? Well, what are you waiting for? …share them with us!

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About the author:

Christopher Rhines

Partner, Director of Development

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Christopher is the Director of Development and one of the partners at Torx. In addition to keeping Torx's Richmond office firing on all cylinders, he can often be found deep in the trenches, building custom content management systems and WordPress-powered websites. He still remembers how to write Basic computer programs on Apple IIs and Commodore 64s.