30 Famous Predictions That Couldn’t Have Been More Horribly Wrong

“Never say never” is a great motto to have when predicting what may or may not happen in the future. What seems impossible today may not only be possible in the future but become commonplace. It’s simply amazing how so many laws of physics have been broken that people believed to be impossible just a few short years ago, people who couldn’t imagine the world of possibilities we live in today.  And the amazing thing is, with so many examples of incorrect predictions in the past, it is a wonder that some people still today say, “That will never happen,” but there are still naysayers in the world, and as long as there are such, there will continue to be innovators that prove them wrong! Here are 30 people who couldn’t have been more wrong in their famous horrible predictions!

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

1. Prediction: “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.”

Who: Albert Einstein When: 1932

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

2. Prediction: “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

Who: Decca Recording Company on declining to sign the Beatles When: 1962

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

3. Prediction: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”

Who: Western Union internal memo When: 1876

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

4. Prediction: “Reagan doesn’t have that presidential look.”

Who: United Artists executive after rejecting Reagan as lead in the film The Best Man When: 1964

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

5. Prediction: “Rail travel at high-speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”

Who: Dr. Dionysius Lardner When: 1830

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

6. Prediction: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

Who: Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM When: 1943

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

7. Prediction: “X-rays will prove to be a hoax.”

Who: Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society When: 1883

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

8. Prediction: “Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure.”

Who: Henry Morton, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison’s light bulb When: 1880

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

9. Prediction:  “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad.”

Who: The president of the Michigan Savings Bank When: 1903, advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

10. Prediction: “Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”

Who: Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox When: 1946

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

11. Prediction: “No one will pay good money to get from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour when he can ride his horse there in one day for free.”

Who: King William I of Prussia, on trains When: 1864

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

12. Prediction: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”

Who: Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) When: 1977 , in a talk given to a World Future Society meeting in Boston

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

13. Prediction: “If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.”

Who: W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute When: 1954

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

14. Prediction: “No, it will make war impossible.”

Who: Hiram Maxim, an English scientist and inventor of the machine gun, when asked: “Will this gun not make war more terrible?”  When: 1893

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

15. Prediction: “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?”

Who: Someone responding to a request to invest in the radio When: 1921

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

16. Prediction: “There will never be a bigger plane built.”

Who: A Boeing engineer, referring to the 247, twin-engine plane that holds 10 people. When: 1933

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

17. Prediction: “How, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.”

Who: Napoleon Bonaparte When: 1800’s when he heard of Robert Fulton’s steamboat

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

18. Prediction: “The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.”

Who: Comment of Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Haig When: 1916, at a tank demonstration

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

19. Prediction: “I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.”

Who: HG Wells, British novelist When: 1901

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

20. Prediction: “The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.”

Who: IBM, to the founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production When: 1959

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

21. Prediction: “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.”

Who: Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office When: 1878

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

22. Prediction: “It’ll be gone by June.”

Who: Variety Magazine on Rock n’ Roll When: 1955

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

23. Prediction: “And for the tourist who really wants to get away from it all, safaris in Vietnam”

Who: Newsweek, predicting popular holidays When: Late 1960

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

24. Prediction: “When the Paris Exhibition closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.”

Who: Oxford professor Erasmus Wilson When: 1878

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

25. Prediction: “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Who: New York Times When: 1936

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

26. Prediction: “It might be assumed that the flying machine… might be evolved by the combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and mechanics in from one million to ten million years”

Who: The New York Times When: 1903

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

27. Prediction: “The coming of the wireless era will make war impossible, because it will make war ridiculous.”

Who: Guglielmo Marconi, pioneer of radio When: 1912 to Technical World Magazine

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

28. Prediction: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”

Who: Steve Ballmer When: 2007

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

29. Prediction: “Where a calculator like ENIAC today is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh only 1.5 tons”

Who: Popular Mechanics Magazine When: 1949

30 Famous Predictions That Couldn't Have Been More Horribly Wrong

30. Prediction: “So many centuries after the Creation it is unlikely that anyone could find hitherto unknown lands of any value.”

Who: Committee advising King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain regarding a proposal by Christopher Columbus When: 1486

After seeing this you may think you want to check out the stocks so you can predict what idiotic invention might one day make it big, in spite of the doubt you have about the product, but that might not be a great idea. Gambling like that isn’t the smartest way to make your millions! Instead, I would just keep your opinions to yourself so that one day YOU aren’t quoted predicting something won’t last, when it takes off bigger than you ever imagined possible

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