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The Top 8 Historically Bad Predictions

David Letterman made the “Top Ten” list popular.  At Cisco, we’re at least 20% more efficient than Dave, so we offer you our “Top Eight” bad predictions throughout history.

One CEO said that he’d give Apple shareholders back their money and shut down the company.  One CEO said that there would never be the need for a home computer. We hope you’ll enjoy these fun, true (and bad) predictions and see how Cisco’s Unified Computing System fits into this mix.

Which is the worst prediction?  What are some of your other favorite bad predictions?

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  1. The best prediction is a prediction from someone who is optimistic. Prediction is the worst predictions come from people who are pessimistic.

  2. @Hulbert, @Richard, @Tom: these are great "historically bad" predictions! Thanks for sharing.

  3. How about "the world will end on May 21, 2011 at 6pm"?

  4. Hey, Thanks for this top 8 bad predictions, I prefered this one than Lettermans!

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

  6. This article is kind of funny: It talks about how Sir Alan Sugar dismissed the iPod by saying it would be done within a year. His remark was considered one of the worst technological predictions of all time.

  7. I'm sure Dell wishes he had bought Apple stock, and the comment about UCS was probably wishful thinking.

  8. It has been pointed out to me that Bill Gates, in fact, DID NOT make the statement widely attributed to him: "640KB ought to be enough (memory) for anybody." I did fact check these quotes, but did not find this article by Nancy Weil from June of 2008 in ComputerWorld. The article quotes Gates as saying: "I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time," he told Bloomberg Business News in 1996. "I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again. Do you realize the pain the industry went through while the IBM PC was limited to 640K? The machine was going to be 512K at one point, and we kept pushing it up. I never said that statement, I said the opposite of that." (full article here: My sincere apologies to Mr. Gates for falling prey to an oft-quoted misquote.

    • Edison didn't invent the light bulb, he only made it better. Edison didn't invent a lot, he just hired a lot of inventors.

  9. iPhone Predictions

  10. How about Michael Dell's Apple Prediction in 1997? “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”