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Strategic Foresight

Unlike most bloggers, I haven’t yet mentioned Steve Jobs’s untimely death earlier this month, despite being a big fan of Apple’s products and having enormous respect for his passion, leadership and achievements.

As those who have read Strategy Execution will know, I explored Apple’s approach to executing strategy in great depth in the book via a strategy execution map, because it’s a super example of strategy execution mastery.

So, time to pay tribute to Steve Jobs, by quoting various technology-related predictions made over the years…

“Everything that can be invented has already been invented.”

– Charles H. Duell, Director of the U.S. Patent Office, 1899

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

– Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.

– Editor of Prentice Hall business books, 1957

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”

– Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

“I’d shut [Apple] down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

– Michael Dell, founder & CEO of Dell, 1997

“Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput.”

– Sir Alan Sugar, 2005

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

– Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, 2007

“The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people – as remarkable as the telephone.”

– Steve Jobs, 1985

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