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New Year predictions?

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
31 December 2007

After my hostage to fortune quote on the Money Programme last week “facebook will be bigger than Google” (I’ll either look prophetic or a total idiot in 12 months), I thought I’d dig up some other past predictions for the technology future to herald in the New Year.

Everyone at Tamar has been bored senseless by me recounting the story of the man from 3i who told me in 1994 ‘the internet is an American fad which will never take off’. How I wish I had his name. But some of these below are even better.

1994 I see little commercial potential for the Internet for at least ten years. (Bill Gates)

1984 The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a mouse. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. (John Dvorak)

1977 There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home. (Ken Olson of Digital Equipment)

1949 It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years. (John von Neumann)

1943 I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. (Thomas Watson of IBM)

1939 The problem with television is that the people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen: the average American family hasn’t time for it. (The New York Times)

1927 Who the hell wants to hear actors talk? (H M Warner of Warner Brothers)

1876 This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us. (Western Union memo)

1865 Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value. (Boston Post)

1825 What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches? (Quarterly Review)

My personal predictions for 2008? Well, social media will continue to dominate and I’m standing by what I said about facebook. It doesn’t show any signs of slowing. I also think Apple will continue to surprise and delight us and we’ll see better and slicker versions of the iPhone hitting the shops early in the New Year hopefully with the keyboard functionality improved. China and the internet in Asia will boom, especially blogging and social media and particularly alongside the Bejing Olympics.

Oh yes and I’ll continue to be be obsessed by new technology of every kind and will add to my ever growing collection of chargers that I now have to carry around the world with me – eight at the last count. Please will someone do something about battery life on all my devices? Now, that would be a great New Year’s present.

Happy New Year!

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