The 12 Worst Tech Predictions of All Time

The 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.
Bill Gates predicted that "no one will need more than 637KB of memory for a personal computer."
Ken Olsen predicted "there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."
Robert Metcalfe predicted the end of the Internet.
Clifford Stoll predicted that "we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet."
T. Craven was the FCC Commissioner.
Nathan Myhrvold predicted that "0x2026 Apple is already dead."
Michael Dell predicted the fall of Apple.
Steve Chen predicted the fall of YouTube.
Sir William Preece was the chief engineer of British Post Office.
Meg Whitman predicted that eBay would be "the undisputed winner in China."
Darryl Zanuck predicted that "television won't be able to hold onto any market it captures."
Bill Gates predicted that "we will never make a 32-bit operating system."
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Editor's Choice
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
Roger Burkhardt, Capital Markets Chief Technology Officer, Broadridge Financial Solutions
Shane Snider, Senior Writer, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author