Sometimes people get it wrong. Here is a list of some of the most famous “predictions gone bad” regarding the introduction of various forms of technology. I am sure you have seen a couple of them before but there are some wonderful eye openers in there. As entrepreneurs knowing who to listen to and who to ignore is a powerful skill that we all need to develop.
1. “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” William Preece, Chief Engineer at the British Post Office, 1878.
2. “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” H.M. Warner, Warner Bros 1927.
3. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943.
4. “Television won’t be able to hold onto any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” Darryl Zanuck, 2oth Century Fox, 1946.
5. “The world potential for copying machines is 5000 at most.” IBM executives to the eventual founders of Xerox, 1959.
6. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olsen, founder of mainframe producer Digital Equipment Corporation 1977.
7. “No one will ever need more than 637kb of memory for a personal computer. 640kb ought to be enough for anybody.” Bill Gates, Microsoft 1981
8. “Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput.” Alan Sugar, British Entrepreneur 2005.
Next time someone is telling you all of the things you can’t do – make your own decision. Now I am not saying that you should ignore all other people, but learning to follow your dreams, listening to your intuition and believing in yourself are fundamentals to truly to successful entrepreneurs.
Of course, sometimes as entrepreneurs we get it wrong. For all of the predictions that have been proven wrong there are many more that have actually been proven to be true. The difference is giving it a go. Most people don’t. In my book anyone who “has a shot” and is brave enough to give something a go, have already proven just how successful they are.