What’s Next in Technology?


Whether you’re a master agent, partner, customer or simply a technology enthusiast, evaluating emerging products and services can be a daunting task. It can be difficult to vet out the players from the pretenders, the leading edge vs the bleeding edge, and evaluate risk effectively with a new solution set. That being said, it’s also important to understand that dismissing vendors and or products out of hand because they are outside of the ‘status-quo’ is a big mistake.

Below are quotes and or statements from industry technical giants who didn’t get it right when looking at what the future may bring.

In 1899, Mr Charles H Duell, Commissioner of the US Patent Office, was attributed with the statement that “everything that can be invented has been invented”.

I think he was a little off.

In 1943,Tom Watson, President of IBM stated, “I think we have a world market for maybe 5 computers.”

In 1946 , Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th Century said, “ Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”

In 1977, Ken Olsen founder of Digital Equipment Corporation said, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

In 1980, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, founders of Microsoft were asked why they limited the memory size addressable by MS-DOS to 640K bytes. Answer: “Who would have thought that you would ever need more”

Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, in 1995 stated, “Almost all of the many predictions now being made about 1996 hinge on the Internet’s continuing exponential growth. But I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”

How about this: in 2004, Bill Gates founder of Microsoft said, “two years from now, spam will be solved.”

Our recommendation: listen intently to new ideas for products and solutions and the direction of technology.  Don’t dismiss ideas as foolish or not needed initially; weigh them carefully before you make a decision. Even then, you may be wrong.