November 23, 2017 by Dymphna

12 worst calls in the history of tech

Often, people get it wrong. Way wrong.

I’m starting to get a little nervous about putting myself out there at my Next 10 event this weekend (Come and check it out for yourself, see if I make a fool of myself!). – You can get a ticket here.

It’s not about getting up in front of thousands of people. I’ve well and truly worked that one through with my therapist.

(nail therapist)

It’s about making some big calls about the future – about where we’re going as a people, and what it all means for real estate.

And one thing you realise when you get into this is that people get this stuff hilariously wrong, all the time.

Let me run you through some of the worst call in the history of tech:

10 A.D
“Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for future improvements. – Julius Frontenus, Roman Senator

Nice call Julius. I bet he got knifed.

“What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives travelling twice the speed of stagecoaches? Quarterly Review Reporter

This year, Japan’s Mag-Lev train clocked a record 603hph. Soon, Hyperloop is going to make even that look slow.

“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876

And they were in the communication business!

When the Paris Exhibition closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.” Erasmus Wilson, Oxford University Professor

Nice call there, Erase my name from the history books.

“The Horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” C.T Bridgman, President of Michigan Savings Bank

Today there are over a billion cars and only 58 million horses. Never trust a banker.

1919 (end of WWI)
“Aeroplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” – Ferdinand Foch, supreme commander of Allied Forces

Battle of Britain, anybody?

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – Harry Warner, founder of Warner Bros Studios

I could still listen to Sean Connery for hours.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Thomas Watson, President of IBM

Current market: 2 billion and counting.

“Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” Arthur Summerfield, US Postmaster General

Seems silly in hindsight, but probably wasn’t such a bad call at the time.

“By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.” Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize Winning Economist

Seriously. That guy is a smart cookie. How did he miss that one?

“There’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” Steve Chen, co-Founder of YouTube.

Yes, but did you factor in how cute cats are?

“The big competitors in the mobile phone industry such as Nokia Oyj and Motorola won’t be whispering nervously into their clamshells over a new threat to their business. The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant.” Bloomberg columnist

I think he underestimated how much we love our luxury baubles.
Or look at the International Energy Agencies track record on predicting the up-take of solar energy. Consistently missing by miles:

(Of course oil’s peak body might have had a vested interest..?)

So I just wonder what “Dymphna Boholt, 2017” I’m going to be adding to that list.

So look, I can’t promise I’m going to nail every single prediction, especially as we start getting out over 50 or 100 year time horizons.

I can’t promise that I won’t say something that in ten years will look quaint, or naive or silly.

It’s a complex world. Anything can happen.

But I can promise I’m going to get you up to speed with the radical things that science is delivering us right now. Not in 5 years but right now.

And I can give you some hearty food for thought – a mental steak and chips and side salad. I can tell you what I think these trends will mean for the property market, and where the best opportunities to make money are going to be.

And one thing I can promise you is that I’ll be talking about things that no one else in Australia is currently talking about. I can promise you that for sure.

So that’s the last thing I’m going to say about it. Come along to the Next 10 event if you can. I proud of what the team and I have pulled together, and I think you’re going to love it.

Get your tickets here and see you soon!

To the future, and beyond!