Back to the Future

You, my astute readers, may have noticed that these blog posts have been written partially for your enjoyment…but mostly for my JOMC 240 class. ShOut OuT!!

All of JOMC 240 has been about how we can predict the future of technology.

We touched on the large possibility of virtual reality, triggered by the birth of the Oculus Rift. We talked about how technology will be effortlessly personalized to a point when the lights will come on when we enter the room, our favorite song will come on our wireless speakers, and a robot will immediately take off our jackets as we walk in the door and scream, “Honey, I’m home.”

HOWEVER: Can we trust our predictions?

I would like to say yes, but became more doubtful when I researched our historical track record. Behold. The list of failures quoted from historical non-failure figures.

1. “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 internal memo (1876).

Sure, Western Union, it’s 1876, but can we really make that bold of a statement? #embarrassing


2. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM (1943).

Ummmm Thomas…..five? Let’s maybe guess between 1 and 100000000000000000000000000…..


3. “Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”- Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox (1946).

Amen brotha. I, as well as all of America, get tired of staring at TVs…computer screens….iPads…..iPhones…..


4. “There is no reason for any individuals to have a computer in his home.”- Ken Olsen, President, Chairman, and Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) (1977).

I mean true. There is no reason for me to have my computer in class, the library, the car, a hotel room, or on the toilet……but I do anyways.


5. The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?”- Associate of David Sarnoff regarding the investment in radio (1921).

You could not be more FAR-OFF SARN-OFF!

6. Then finally we have this picture of the movie Back to the Future (1985). 

back to the fut

This picture says it all.

Anyways, I think it will be interesting to see which of our predictions came true. However, judging by this list of failure through history, the most important thing we can take away from this is to never say never. Never completely shut down an idea no matter how crazy it may seem, like the concept of music coming out of a box. Never assume you know so much about the world and the humans that live in it, because Darryl Zanuck, not everyone gets tired of staring at “plywood boxes.”

We just will have to sit back, relax, and let Mother Technology do her thing.

Until then, peace out playas.

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