The worst predictions on technology made by intelligent people

Making predictions is a dangerous job: you can hit it and say the world that you are a visionary or you can throw it down like the people on this list.

The worst predictions on technology made by intelligent people
The worst predictions on technology made by intelligent people

Some people like John Elfreth Watkins, who predicted the emergence of mobile phone, digital photography, and television since 1900, have a special gift in seeing the future. Others do not have the power to see the big picture and say things that turn out to be wrong. Let's see some of the worst predictions about technology made by intelligent people.


Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2017, claimed two Princeton teachers in 2014, after assimilating the social network with infectious diseases and believed that Facebook, like bubonic plague, would disappear at some point. We are in 2019, and more than 2.3 billion people use Mark Zuckerberg's platform every month.


Paul Krugman, the winner of the Nobel Prize, said in 1998 that by 2005 "it would become clear that the impact of the Internet on the economy was not greater than that of the fax." He is also a professor at Princeton University and is well known in the scientific world for his contributions to the trade. He won the Novel for Economics in 2008.

Robert Metcalfe, one of the Ethernet inventors, said the internet is codified as a failure. In an article for the 1995 InfoWorld publication, he said the internet would not grow and that it would be a failure until 1996.

Not everyone thought each of us would have a PC at home

Ken Olsen, a pioneer of the computer industry, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, who built minicomputers, saw no reason why a person would want a computer in his home. He would have said that sometime in 1977, and the quote is attributed to him in several April 1980's Creative Computing. At present, almost every person on the globe owns at least one computer, whether it's a PC, smartphone, or a console.

Another smart man who underestimated the potential of computers was Thomas Watson, IBM's president. He said in 1943 that "there is a global market of up to five personal computers." Perhaps at the time, it was true, but the lack of vision is notable.


Steve Chen, YouTube co-founder, did not think the platform would be too successful. "There are not many videos I want to see," he said in March 2005. At that time, there were about 50 clips on YouTube. On November 13, 2006, Google bought YouTube for $ 1.65 billion. Approximately 300 hours of video content is loaded on the platform every minute at this time.

Predictors of technologies that have proven to be wrong

The potential market for photocopiers is up to 5000 units, at most, "said IBM's Xerox founders in 1959. By 1961, Xerox had revenue of $ 60 million, and by 1965 the amount jumped 500 million dollars. Over time, the photocopier has become synonymous with Xerox and is also being used extensively in the digital world today.


Nobody likes smap, and that's why Bill Gates said in January 2014 on the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that spam would die in two years. 45% of all mails sent in 2018 were spam.


Televisions began to sell widely in the 1930s. Darryl Zanuck, the founder of the 20th Century Fox film studio, said in 1946 that "people will get bored of staring at a wooden box every night." Let's give him a little thought because he did not know about Netflix or HBO.

Who thought the iPhone would be a failure

Steve Ballmer, the head of Microsoft, said in 2007 that Apple's iPhone has no chance of gaining a significant market share. He believed that Apple's phone was too expensive and that people would not spend so much money on such a device. How well we did not get to the point where the phones cost over 1000 euros.


"In the next five years, I do not think there will be any reason to have a tablet," Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry, said in 2013. Sure, tablets did not revolutionize the world, but they did not even disappear. Apple makes nice money after the iPad and extends the tablet's capability into the PC world. Funny is that Heins, probably after being squeezed out of his ears, returned a month later with another statement, saying that "we are interested in the future of tablets, whatever it is."

Windows Phone

Several analysts from research firms thought Windows Phone would be massive. They predicted that Windows Phone will dethrone Apple and will be the second operating system after Android. IDC's prestigious research firm believed in 2011 that by 2015 Windows Phone will have a market share of 20.9%, over iOS (15.3%) and over BlackBerry (13.7%). The adoption rate of the operating system was a huge one of 67%.

What are your predictions for 2020?