There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen

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pages: 228 words: 65,953

The Six-Figure Second Income by Lindahl, David; Rozek, Jonathan

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bounce rate, California gold rush, financial independence, Google Earth, new economy, speech recognition, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen

Consider what it’s like to enter a completely new market—no visible demand exists for that product. When the first person invented crossword puzzles, computer games, and, for that matter, even the computers themselves, no immediate demand existed for them. Ken Olsen, who founded Digital Equipment Corp, said, “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”1 Demand had to be built for all these inventions. On the other hand, when you offer a new-and-improved dog collar to the market today, you have millions of potentially immediate users, depending on how good your doggie collar is. Here’s the really excellent news: Most of your competition is not very good at selling dog collars.


pages: 406 words: 88,820

Television disrupted: the transition from network to networked TV by Shelly Palmer

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barriers to entry, call centre, commoditize, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, James Watt: steam engine, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, yield management

The device is inherently of no value to us.” These predictions might have been penned by layman, but even being a successful businessman doesn’t seem to enhance predictive powers past a point. Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corporation, is famous for his 1977 quote, “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home,” as is H.M. Warner, head of Warner Brothers Movie Studios, for asking, “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” back in 1927. Even being the richest man in the world does not seem to guarantee the quality of any given prediction, as Bill Gates opined in 1981, “640K ought to be enough [memory] for anybody.”


pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, V2 rocket, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

It’s easy to cherry-pick predictions that make the prognosticator look foolish in hindsight. A classic example is that of Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, who said in 1943: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Here’s Ken Olsen, cofounder of Digital Equipment Corporation, in 1977: “There’s no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” There are many other such miscalculations in the world of information technology, such as the inventor of Ethernet saying the Internet would collapse and die in 1996, and the founder of YouTube saying in 2002 that his company would go nowhere because there just weren’t many videos to watch.2 For the record, in 2014 there were two billion PCs, two billion websites, and 40 billion hours of YouTube videos watched.


pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

—Popular Mechanics, 1949 “It would appear that we have reached the limits of what is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in five years.” —John von Neumann, 1949 “There’s no reason for individuals to have a computer in their home.” —Ken Olson, 1977 “640,000 bytes of memory ought to be enough for anybody.” —Bill Gates, 1981 “Long before the year 2000, the entire antiquated structure of college degrees, majors and credits will be a shambles.” —Alvin Toffler “The Internet will catastrophically collapse in 1996.”