Photo courtesy of The Hustle
From The Hustle
It’s prediction season… but we’re not making any today.

Below are some business predictions that really went awry.

We’re not trying to dunk on the predictors. Rather, we want to show that experts don’t have a monopoly on seeing the future and that there can never be enough new ideas and fresh thinking.

Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer on the iPhone in 2007

“[Apple’s iPhone] is the most expensive phone in the world, and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine…”

What one anonymous publisher thought about Harry Potter in 1996

“Children just aren’t interested in witches and wizards anymore.”

A Yale professor on Fred Smith’s term paper that became FedEx

“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.”

IBM tells Xerox its prediction for photocopiers in 1959

“The world potential market for copying machines is 5,000, at most.”

Business Week on the prospect of Japanese cars in the US in 1968

“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.”

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