Lessons from Thomas Edison's Technological and Social Forecasts
City University of New York
FORESIGHT: International Journal of Applied Forecasting, No. 4, pp. 47-52, June 2006
Thomas Edison's inventions have had an unparalleled influence on modern life. But Edison was also a technological forecaster, offering his vision of which technologies would (and would not) dominate our lives in the future. Steve Schnaars looks back on Edison's 13 technological and social forecasts to evaluate the inventor's predictive hits and blunders. The main lesson he sees in Edison's technological forecasting is that spreading risk by pursuing multiple paths to future market success is probably a better strategy that trying to predict precisely which technologies will succeed in the future.
JEL Classification: COO, C2Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 10, 2006
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