Faulty Forecasts - when predictions go wrongFive Know-it-alls that tried to predict the future – and got it wrong
When an expert predicts something, we tend to believe them. They are of course, not called experts without reason. But sometimes the experts get things wrong as well!
200 years after Napoleon’s big defeat, The Battle of Waterloo, on June 8, 1815, we want to make sure that you know how to prevent your personal catastrophe. The Red Bulletin pays tribute to five prophets who thought they could predict the future - and clearly failed…
PREDICTION: “GUITAR GROUPS ARE ON THEIR WAY OUT”
Dick Rowe, a talent-scout at Decca Records, said ‘no’ to The Beatles in 1962 - and probably rejected the biggest opportunity of his life.
A couple of months later they got signed by producer George Martin at EMI Records’ subsidiary Parlophone and began recording their first album together in London.
At least The Rolling Stones benefited from what is considered as “the biggest mistake in music history”: soon after The Beatles became popular in England, Rowe raved about his new favourite and still unsigned band on Juke Box Jury - and signed them on.
PREDICTION: ” THERE WILL NEVER BE A BIGGER PLANE BUILT”
This is what a Boeing engineer said after the maiden flight in 1933 of a twin-engined Boeing 247 – it could hold 10 people. Luckily for us and for Boeing, they managed to surpass themselves. The Boeing 777-300 can seat 550 passengers.
Although Boeing is working on further improvements in the future, its biggest competitor, Airbus, has already managed to beat them in terms of passenger capacity: the A380-800 can hold 853 passengers.
PREDICTION: “I THINK THERE IS A WORLD MARKET FOR MAYBE FIVE COMPUTERS”
Thomas J. Watson, president of IBM, is well known for his alleged statement, but maybe we misheard him, and he meant 5 computers per home …
It is fair to say that Mr. Watson might have jumped to the wrong conclusion back in 1943 … but in his defence, a few years ago it sounded like pure fiction that it would be possible to take a picture on your phone!
PREDICTION: “WHAT WOULD THE ADVANTAGE BE OF ARRIVING SOMEWHERE A COUPLE OF HOURS EARLIER?”
In 1838, Frederick William III of Prussia didn’t believe in the railway, or in speeding up the pace of life. He probably was not that interested in what this could mean for the rest of us who do not live like kings …
The questions is: Would His Majesty still reject the opportunity of simplifying his life by getting from A to B at a speed of more than 300 km/hour?
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