The epic history of technology is littered with some incredibly lousy prophecies, often made by some very smart, very successful -- and very wealthy -- executives. We trolled the timeline of technology to find the most misguided -- and in some cases just plain crazy --calls in the industry's storied past, from the telephone to television to YouTube. Sure, it's easy to call out the most foolish forecasts with the benefit of perfect hindsight. It's also a lot of fun -- there are some doozies. And
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"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." --Sir William Preece, chief engineer, British Post Office
The inventor and electrical engineer's 1876 quote conjures an image of hundreds of Dickensian pips running around clutching fistfuls of communications. Nonetheless, the telephone won out, and "messenger boy" ceased to be an in-demand career choice in England.
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