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The decisions that we make today are framed by the tomorrows we envision. When we decide what type of computer operating system to buy, when we choose to hire Alice over Barry, when we determine what kinds of preparation our students need, we do so based on our assumptions about the future. Peering around the corner and predicting what will happen tomorrow, next year, or in a decade is anything but certain. Wars, stock market crashes, and last-minute umbrella sales are testament to the foolishness of feeling certain about tomorrow.
For example, in 1943, the chairman of IBM, Thomas Watson, observed, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” The Decca Recording Company rejected the Beatles in 1962: “We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” A 1968 edition of Business Week declared, “With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. Market.” (These and other “bad predictions” can be found at