Thursday, July 31, 2008

Predictions? or a poor understanding of it?

“Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop - because women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise, like to be able to change their minds.

TIME, 1966, in one sentence writing off e-commerce long before anyone had ever heard of it.”

The prediction above is a classic example of the notion that opinions are rendered on behaviors that are predictive in nature without sufficiently investigating or understanding technologies vs. human behavior. The person/entity who made this prediction probably did not truly understand what was going on in the technology space at the time.

Indeed, technology and its use have come a long way, but there was no substantive basis given to support this prediction, so it begs the questions, what’s the accepted definition of a prediction and how must it be rendered for it to be valid?

As predicted above, the billions of dollars of products that women purchased yearly on the Internet is a typical refutation to poor predictions and or a misunderstanding of how predictions ought to be made and supported.






TM said...


In what context was remote shopping used, was the person talking about catalog shopping? I would suspect this is the case and I can really see their point, my rationale for this is the fact that the USPS as today was not the best organization and there was no trust. In addition, this was the era of multiple parent, one income families and during this era, it was the traditional role of women to maintain the home. In this scenario, the prediction was based upon solid facts. What this person failed to realize was the societal change of the nuclear family being realized during this era and not taking advantage of it.

DrC said...

Good observation, Tracy. Yes, the comment shows a gender bias as well as a limited perspective on the convenience of remote shopping. *smiles*