- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos all made predictions before the turn of millennium that are still coming true.
- Jobs predicted that we would carry around “slates” with “agents,” like today’s iPhones with Siri. Gates foresaw smart advertising. Bezos knew Amazon would grow beyond book-selling.
Silicon Valley tech moguls Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos made predictions before the new millennium that are still coming true today.
Here are 9 prescient predictions made by tech execs before the turn of the century.
Jobs predicted that we would carry around “slates” with “agents” — basically, iPhones with Siri.
Prediction (1984): “The next stage is going to be computers as ‘agents,'” Jobs told Newsweek’s Access Magazine. “In other words, it will be as if there’s a little person inside that box who starts to anticipate what you want.”
“I’ve always thought it would be really wonderful to have a little box, a sort of slate that you could carry along with you,” Jobs told Newsweek.
Today: The iPhone was released in 2007, and the iOS digital assistant Siri launched in 2010.
Jobs also predicted car dealerships without inventory — which Tesla does today.
Prediction (1996): “Take auto dealerships. So much money is spent on inventory — billions and billions of dollars. Inventory is not a good thing. Inventory ties up a ton of cash, it’s open to vandalism, it becomes obsolete. It takes a tremendous amount of time to manage. And, usually, the car you want, in the color you want, isn’t there anyway, so they’ve got to horse-trade around. Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of all that inventory? Just have one white car to drive and maybe a laserdisc so you can look at the other colors. Then you order your car and you get it in a week,” Jobs said to Wired.
Today: Tesla opened its first showroom in 2008 in Los Angeles, and its stores famously have very few cars on-site. Buyers can order their custom vehicle with a salesperson or online.
Jobs’ version of storage on email is a lot like cloud storage today.
Prediction (1996): “I don’t store anything anymore, really. I use a lot of e-mail and the Web, and with both of those I don’t have to ever manage storage. As a matter of fact, my favorite way of reminding myself to do something is to send myself e-mail. That’s my storage,” Jobs told Wired.
Now: Apple rolled out iCloud in 2011. Now, automatically saving our files on the internet through cloud services, like Google Drive and Dropbox too, is the norm.
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