Ha!!  On Predictions by Experts


In the absence of our own understanding of the science and technology behind many inventions, we look for experts in the field to project the shape of things to come in the field of their expertise in the implicit assumption that they have better insights into the future looking through their special crystal balls.  How innocent we are in our assumption and belief and how wrong these experts have been!.   Here is a list culled from diverse sources:

  • “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breath would die of asphyxia.”  —  Dr. Dionysius Larder Professor of Natural Philosophy, University college of London (1783-1859)
  • ‘The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty — a fad.”   —  The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer to not invest in the Ford Motor Company (1903)
  • “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” — Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895. The absolute temperature scale (0 Celsius = 273 Kelvin) is named in his honor!.
  • “The cinema is little more than a fad. It’s canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage.” — Charlie Chaplin (20th century.)
  • “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”’  — H.M. Warner co-founder of Warner Brothers
  • “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” —  Ken Olson, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation.
  • “With over fifteen types of foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself.” —  Business Week, 1968.
  • “640kB should be enough for anyone.” — Bill Gates, 1981
  • “The world potential market for copying machines is 5,000, at most,”  — IBM to Xerox in 1959. 
  • “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.”  —  Yale professor to the founder of FedEx Fred Smith when he was a MBA student.  ♠

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