Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.

—Niels Bohr

The future is unimaginably wonderful. Consider how advances in health care, communications, business, and technology will expand in the next couple of decades. But if you want to know the future, don’t listen to the so-called experts. They have a sorry record with prediction. Look at this:

“It is impossible to transmit the human voice over wire.”

—Lord Kelvin, Royal Society

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”

—H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers

“A rocket will never be able to leave earth’s atmosphere.”

New York Times editorial

“I think there is a world market for five computers.”

—Thomas Watson, IBM

“No reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

—Ken Olson, Digital Equipment Co.

“The Internet will soon collapse.”

—Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor Ethernet

“Remote shopping, while feasible, will flop.”

TIME magazine

“Cellular phones will not replace local wire systems.”

—Marty Cooper, inventor

“No chance the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”

— Steve Ballmer, Microsoft

These opinions are useless because they are an attempt to extrapolate the past into the future. Ever since technology appeared in the form of the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago, change and advancement have been the norm. Look at just a few key events of the past 20 years.

  • 1990: First major layoffs bring end to loyalty and lifetime employment
  • 1997: Dot-com mania promises a new order before ...

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