How reliable are tech prophecies?

August 6, 2018

Already for ages predictions of our technological future have been made. Many did not come true but there were also many that were stunningly accurate. Below we have listed our top 3 of both sides.

Foolish tech predictions

  1. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
    Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
  2. “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”
    Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, 1995
  3. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”
    Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 2007

Surprisingly accurate tech predictions

  1. “It will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages all over the world so simply that any individual can own and operate his own apparatus,” Nikola Tesla, the New York Times, 1909
  2. “We will have high-definition, wide-screen television sets and a push-button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it,”
    Roger Ebert, Omni Magazine, 1987
  3. “Computers can recognize their owner’s face from a picture or video.”
    Ray Kurzweil, author and futurist, from ‘The Age of Spiritual Machines’, 1999

What will the near future bring?

The World Economic Forum has done a survey of 800 technology executives and experts from the ITC sector. See below an overview of the major technological breakthroughs in 2025 according to the Technology Tipping Points and Societal Impact report.

However true or false all predictions may turn out to be, one thing is sure, there always will be change.

And as we have learned from the past, not the fastest growing, biggest, or wealthiest organizations will thrive in the next era but the ones that adapt best to the changing technological environment.

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