World’s Worst Predictions – Famously Wrong Predictions

While just a few of these predictions pertain to the real estate world, it is important to remember that even the most trusted sources can be completely wrong. These predictions are a reminder that we constantly need to perform due diligence in a best effort to make accurate predictions. I always strive to provide Nashville will the best real estate information available and to make calculated predictions based upon trends, news and the raw data.

“The exact timing and the strength of a home sales recovery is a bit uncertain. A meaningful recovery in existing-home sales could occur as early as this spring, or it may be further delayed toward late 2008.”
- Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors, January 2008

“Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility – a development which we should waste little time dreaming about.”
- Lee de Forest, inventor of the cathode ray tube, 1926

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
- Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of Board of IBM, 1943

“It doesn’t matter what he does, he will never amount to anything.”
- Albert Einstein’s teacher to his father, 1895

“It will be years – not in my time – before a woman will become Prime Minister.”
- Margaret Thatcher, 1974

“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

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
Decca Recording Company reflecting the Beatles, 1962

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
- H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927

“640k ought to be enough for anybody.”
- Bill Gates, 1981

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”
- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
Popular Mechanics, 1949

“We don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.”
- Hewlett Packard’s rejection of Steve Jobs, who went on to found Apple Computers

King George II said in 1773 that the, “American colonies had little stomach for revolution.”

An official of the White Star Line, speaking of the company’s newly built flagship, the Titanic, launched in 1912, declared that the ship was unsinkable.

In 1939 The New York Times said, “the problem of TV was that people had to glue their eyes to a screen, and that the average American wouldn’t have time for it.”

An English astronomy professor said in the early 19th century that, “air travel at high speed would be impossible because passengers would suffocate.”

“Airplanes are interesting toys, but they have no military value.”
- Marshal Ferdinand Foch, 1904

“With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.”
Business Week, 1958

“Whatever happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.”
- Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, December 4, 1941

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
- Irving Fisher, Yale University, October 16, 1929

“By the year 1982 the graduated income tax will have practically abolished major differences in wealth.”
- Irwin Edman, professor of philosophy Columbia University, 1932

“The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.”
- Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project, 1943

“Americans will never stop gambling and Las Vegas will never stop growing, we’re primed to become the largest city in the U.S.”
- Oscar Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas, 2004

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