Predictions from the Past

(No this isn’t the one with baby pictures– patience, patience… 🙂  )

From this Wall Street Journal article:

“Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further developments…” Julius Sextus Frontinus, a Roman engineer writing in 10 A.D.

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys,” Sir William Preece, chief engineer at the British Post Office, 1878.

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” H.M. Warner, Warner Bros., 1927.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers,” Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

“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,” Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, 1946.

“The world potential market for copying machines is 5,000 at most,” IBM executives to the eventual founders of Xerox, 1959.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home,” Ken Olsen, founder of mainframe-producer Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

“No one will need more than 637 kb of memory for a personal computer—640K ought to be enough for anybody,” Bill Gates, Microsoft, 1981.

“Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput,” Sir Alan Sugar, British entrepreneur, 2005.

Isn’t it amazing how confident and wrong we can be at the same time?  I’ve got a few predictions of my own for 2010, but instead of listing them, I’ve decided to heed the advice of James, the half-brother of Christ, found in James 4:13-15Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—  yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”  This was a man who knew a lot about wrong predictions; he was the head of the Christian church in Jerusalem during a time of upheaval and unexpected events.  In a few short years the temple would be destroyed and the entire city razed to the ground– an event the entire Jewish nation never saw coming.

The coming year will be one of upheaval and unexpected turns for our family as well, though certainly not houses getting razed to the ground.  Umm, I guess that is a prediction.  In any case, stay tuned…

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