We live in an age of technological marvel that those in the past couldn’t even contemplate. Our homes and offices run on equipment and software that allows us to be more productive than ever. But as we know, it wasn’t always like this. We at Altodigital have collated our favourite worst office tech predictions. Some old and some more recent, all brought together by the unfortunate fate of being completely wrong:
‘The internet has no future’ – Robert Metcalfe, 1995
A pioneer in forming the internet, and one of the creators of the ethernet cable, Metcalfe sadly didn’t have high hopes for the service he helped pioneer. He infamously claimed the internet would catastrophically collapse by 1996. Judging by the fact you are reading this - we’re glad to say he was wrong.
‘There is a world market for maybe five computers’ – Thomas Watson, 1943
Chairman of IBM at the time, Thomas Watson saw pretty much no market for the computer. It’s easy for us to critique this claim now, but back in 1943 it would have been hard to argue against this statement, with computers with tiny capabilities being the size of a full room. Nevertheless, the statement was false. Indeed, you’d be hard pushed to find an office that doesn’t have five computers in 2016, never mind the world, which, for reference now has over 2 billion of them…
‘There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home’ – Ken Olson, 1977
Moving swiftly on from the world market - as computers became more involved in industry, the personal computer still wasn’t given a chance. President of Digital Corp (which was merged into modern day giants HP) Ken Olson did not see the reasons that anyone would need a PC in their home. Luckily for us, the advancement of operating systems over the years now means that not only do we have our reasons for wanting one, it’s hard to imagine a home that doesn’t have some sort of computer device, be it a tablet, laptop or smart phone. Computers opened up our office potential before bringing their advancements to the home!
’Two years from now, spam will be solved’ – Bill Gates, 2004
Bill Gates needs no introduction, and can undoubtedly be credited with the rise of the PC. Yet this remark, unlike his other successful foresights, didn’t come to fruition. As all of us know, spam is still very much an issue. 90% of sent emails are made up of spam, and with spam now pretty much its own industry, it doesn’t look like it’ll ever be ‘solved’.