William Sherden’s The Fortune Sellers chapter 6 offers insights on futuristic predictions and forecasts. Surprisingly, 85% of futuristic technology predictions fall short and a large portion of successful technologies were never seen coming. I was even more surprised to learn that in some instances, the expert think tanks has approximately the same success rate of predicting future technologies as an average person who makes predictions.
Another insight Sherden presents involves the influence of the supplier to the public. The Betamax and VHS example supports the supplier influence model. Two formats with similar capabilities battle for dominance in the market. Eventually, storefronts start to favor VHS and carry more VHS format tapes than Betamax. Consumers notice the storefront trend and also start to favor VHS, sending Betamax into a quick obsolescence.
Sherden shared several great insights in the Science Fact and Fiction chapter. I look forward to reading more of the book and would recommend the read to others too.