New Year’s Predictions Part 1

In honor of the coming new year and people’s propensity to make predictions for the new year, I thought I would post some past predictions over the next few days. Here is the first “batch:”

We will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.”  Dr. Lee DeForest, “Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television.”

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.”   Admiral William Leahy , US Atomic Bomb Project

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.”   Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”   Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949 (Technically this is a true statement)

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

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, 1957

But what is it good for?”  Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”   Bill Gates, 1981

This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us,” — Western Union internal memo, 1876. (They later turned down the typewriter and the Xerox machine. It takes a real talent to pass on several breakthrough innovations)

More tomorrow,


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