Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Web Secret #100: The Future Is Here

This is my 100th post, a milestone in a blogging adventure that began in August 2008.

For the past couple of months, when I realized that number 100 was around the corner, I have been thinking about what I would write about.

One of the interesting aspects of blogging for me is that I never know when, where, or what will get me inspired. This post was no exception.

Some time ago, I found out that my Millennial children love the über popular Apparently, failure is fascinating. Hard to be an idealist when your exposed on a daily basis to the idiocies of celebrities, politicians, corporations, and others. Now you hear the kids say (about something that f@*$#! up), "that was a fail."

Turns out that when it comes to technololgy, experts have been predicting failure for decades.

This is interesting to me because I spend much of my professional life teaching the wonders of technology to a lot of people who fundamentally fear it and previously told me that they don't need it. Somehow, the bulk of them end up adopting much of what they feared and forecast they wouldn't need.

So I thought it would be fitting to remember some of the failed predictions about technology, courtesy of "Top 25 Failed Tech Predictions on Computers."

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

1949 - "...computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 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." - The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall.

1966 - "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop - because women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise, like to be able to change their minds." TIME Magazine.

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

1979 - "People won't want to play these electronic games for more than a week..." - Gus Bally, Arcade Inc.

1995 - "The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper..." Clifford Stoll.

2003 - "These Google guys, they want to be billionaires and rock stars and go to conferences and all that. Let us see if they still want to run the business in two to three years." Bill Gates.

2005 - "Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput." Sir Alan Sugar, British entrepreneur.

2007 - "The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks." Matthew Lynn, in Bloomberg.

Now think about the fact that in 2010, most of us own computers, shop on line, use iPods and smart phones, and get some of our news online.

There is new cool stuff around the corner, and I can't wait to blog about it.

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