50 poor forecasters… Part II – #history

Part 2 – the final 25:

50 reasons, spanning 500 years, that clearly illustrate that we humans are poor forecasters. The lesson? Never go into print with a forecast!

AtomBomb 1927 – Who the hell wants to hear actors talk? H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers1929 – Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University1932 – There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean the atom would have to be shattered at will. Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist.1933 – There will never be a bigger plane built. A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin-engined plane that held ten people.

1933 – The energy produced by the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine. Ernest Rutherford

EarlyRocket 1936 – A rocket will never be able to leave the earth’s atmosphere. The New York Times1930s – ‘Gone with the Wind’ is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his nose, not me. Gary Cooper when he turned down the role (went with Beau Geste instead)1939 – Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous. Winston Churchill1942 – The Americans are good about making fancy cars and refrigerators, but that doesn’t mean they are any good at making aircraft. They are bluffing. They are excellent at bluffing. Hermann Goering, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe

1943 – I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. Thomas J. Watson Sr, Chairman of IBM, regularly reported to be a misunderstanding

earlyTV 1945 – This is the biggest fool thing we’ve ever done- the bomb will never go off- and I speak as an expert on explosives. Admiral William Leahy, speaking to President Truman about the atom bomb1946 – Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night. Darryl Zanuck1949 – Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. Popular Mechanics1954 – Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter… Lewis L. Strauss, then chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission

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

EarlyBeatles 1957 – Space travel is bunk. Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal1962 – We don’t like their sound. We don’t think they will do anything in their market. Guitar groups are on their way out. Decca Recording Co., declining to sign the Beatles1962 – Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition. Dennis Gabor1968 – But what…is it good for? Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip.

1968 – 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

Apple1 1974 – It will be years — not in my time — before a woman will become Prime Minister. Margaret Thatcher.1975 – So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing [Apple I] , even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet. Apple Computer Inc founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer 1977 – …there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. Ken Olsen, President, Chairman, and Founder of Digital Equipment Corp 1980s – If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you couldn’t do this. Spencer Silver, commenting on the work that led to the adhesives for 3M ‘Post-It’ notepads

1981 – 640K ought to be enough [memory] for anybody. Bill Gates at Microsoft – another statement often claimed to be an urban legend

see more…                                                                Part 1 is here

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