10 great but inaccurate quotes from technology

Can you remember a time when you said something you wish you hadn’t said? You’re not alone. Each of us is guilty of that. Even the brightest minds have said things they wish they hadn’t said, especially if what they said was a bold statement or proclamation that never came to pass, not even sort of. But that’s OK; such statements make for good conversation even years later. Enjoy our latest infographic!

The greatest tech minds of the 20th and 21st centuries were responsible for great discoveries and insights that changed the way we work, think, relax, and play. But those same great minds also allowed their mouths to say a few things that today cause us to shake our heads and wonder, and maybe even chuckle. Oh, well, no one’s perfect. Take a look at the 10 quotes in our latest infographic and then see if you can guess what year it was said. Answers are at the bottom of the infographic.

The Quotes
1. “Two years from now, spam will be solved.”
2. “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”
3. “But what…is it good for?”
4. “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”
5. “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore.”
6. “Linux is not in the public domain. Linux is a cancer.”
7. “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
8. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
9. “If you’re wrong, you will die.”
10. “Apple is already dead.”

Who said it and when
1. Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates made this prediction in 2007 at the World Economic Forum. Maybe he meant SPAM, that canned precooked meat product? No, that’s still around, too.
2. Scott McNealy, CEO and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, speaking about online privacy in 1999. All these years later, he’s probably right, but privacy should be the goal nevertheless.
3. Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division at IBM, commenting on the microchip. Of course, most of us would have probably agreed if we were working in tech back in 1968.
4. Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, said this in 1995. But we can forgive Metcalfe; after all, he is credited with inventing the Ethernet.
5. Even Apple’s Steve Jobs made a few mistakes about technology, like how he responded in 2008 when asked about the likely success of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader.
6. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s former CEO, was known to be volatile when discussing the competition. It’s understandable that he would be resistant to any free open-source software.
7. Alphabet Inc. (formerly Google) executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s response when asked in 2009 about whether users should be sharing their information with Google.
8. Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, made this statement. But, hey, 1977 was a very long time ago.
9. Intel’s former CEO Andy Grove in his 1996 book, Only the Paranoid Survive. Of course, all of us have been wrong at least once, and we’re all going to die eventually, so technically he’s right.
10. Nathan Myhrvold made that statement when he was CTO of Microsoft. To be fair, Apple stock was down to about $7 a share in 1997. (Yeah, we wish we had bought shares back then, too.)

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