It’s fun and informative to look back on famous prognostications by respected “experts” that turned out to be utterly wrong. So, without further adieu, here are some of the best:
- IBM Chairman Thomas Watson (1943) : “… there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
- Robert Metcalfe, Founder of 3Com : “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”
- Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO (2007) : “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”
- Marty Cooper, cell phone inventor (1981) : “Cellular telephones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.”
- TIME magazine (1966) : “Remote shopping, while currently feasible, will flop.”
- T.A.M Craven, FCC Commissioner (1961) : “There is positively no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States.”
- Daryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox (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.”
- President of Michigan Savings Bank (1903) : “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.”
- William Orton, President of Western Union (1876) : “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”
- Ken Olsen, Founder of Digital Equipment Group (DEC) (1977) : “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”
- Albert Einstein (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.”
- Henry Morton, President of the Stevens Institute of Technology (1880) : “Everyone acquainted with the subject (Edison’s light bulb) will recognize it as a conspicuous failure.”
- New York Times (1936) : “A rocket will never be able to to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”
- Paul Krugman, Economist (1998) : “The growth of the Internet will slow drastically…most people have nothing to say to each other! 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.”
So, in this context, does the idea of Bitcoin being “digital gold”, a store of value, sound crazy?
That blockchain technology and the tokenization of real world assets are unrealistic, faulty ideas?
Do you really want to be on the wrong side of these possibilities?
Wouldn’t it make sense to hedge your bets and have some investment in Bitcoin and crypto assets?
The fact is that revolutionary technologies seem incredulous initially. It is difficult, if not impossible, to envision the many possibilities that may result.
There will always be loudly-vocal naysayers and uninformed talking heads poo-pooing anything disruptive or controversial. Will some of these become the next famously-wrong quotes of all time?
I’m betting they will!
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