“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”
In 1977, Ken Olsen, founder, president, and chairman of Digital Equipment Corporation (aka, DEC), said he didn’t believe that people would ever need to have computers in their homes.
This bit of extraordinarily misguided foresight may explain why Digital Equipment Corporation is a business enterprise that no longer exists.
21 years after Olsen’s misguided prognostication, Compaq Computer acquired Digital, parts of which were purchased by Intel. And then, in 2002, Compaq disappeared when it merged with Hewlett-Packard (HP).
In a similar example of company-killing CEO miscalculation, in 2003, Mike Lazardis, co-chief executive and co-chairman of Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, said, “Cameraphones will be rejected by corporate users.”
At the time Lazardis said that, the BlackBerry was the first, most well-integrated, and most secure smartphone solution in the world. And within a few years the BlackBerry device owned the smartphone market, earning the nickname “Crackberry” because users — predominantly business people — became so addicted to them.
But everything changed in 2007 when Steve Jobs and Apple introduced the iPhone. Suddenly using a smartphone to take snapshots and to browse the web became smartphone requirements. And by 2012, the BlackBerry was barely a blip on the smartphone radar screen.
So much for the prescience of once powerful and well-respected tech CEOs Ken Olsen and Mike Lazardis.
Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G Hill.