Even the smartest tech visionaries are afflicted with myopia

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” – Thomas Watson, Chairman of the Board of IBM, 1943

“640k (of RAM) ought to be enough for anybody.” – Bill Gates defending MS-DOS’ 640k RAM address limit, 1981

“It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing” – Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, 1985

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home” – Ken Olsen, CEO of DEC in 1986.

“What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” – Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer in 1997 on what he would do with Apple Computer

“Blinky lights aren’t so special anymore. Everyone’s got blinky lights” – Mr. Technology, CTO of Soul in the Machine, 2011

Notes on the quotes. At the time of Olsen’s quote, DEC was the 2nd biggest tech company in the world. Lucky for Steve Jobs, he was wrong about himself. Thomas Watson: what was he thinking? As for Michael Dell, Apple’s current market cap is 10 times that of Dell Computer. And Mr. Technology? His next date will be impressed with him because of blinky lights. Moral of the story: be careful about believing anyone’s predictions about the future.


About the Author
Author

stainless St(br)ainless is one of the founders of Soul in the Machine. His duties include, but are not limited to, sweeping the floors, scrubbing the toilets and taking out the garbage.



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