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Friday, April 18 2014
No One Will Buy Anything Over the Web

In a 1995 Newsweek article, author and astronomer Clifford Stoll wrote:

We’re promised instant catalog shopping—just point and click for great deals...Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn’t—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

In the same 1995 Newsweek article, Stoll wrote, “The truth is, no online database will replace your daily newspaper.” Countless newspapers have since gone out of business and at the end of 2012, Newsweek went completely digital.

Stoll wasn’t the only one who was way off with his predictions about the internet.

In 2004, Bill Gates said, “spam will soon be a thing of the past.”

In 1995, Robert Metcalfe said the internet will “go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”

Read more predictions for the web on

Posted by: Andrea Shepherd AT 12:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email