Back in 1966, Time magazine made a prediction of the retail world in 2000. It confidently predicted that remote shopping, although feasible, would never be likely to catch on. Time made this prediction based on the reasoning that women, in particular, like to handle merchandise before they purchase it. Not only was the prediction hugely inaccurate, it was chauvinistic as well. Global online sales are now in excess of $500 billion. It is not only men who spend massive sums online, but also women, in direct contradiction of the Time prediction. In contrast to this poor prediction, there are cases of articles in the press correctly predicting digital trends in the future, but many predictions still fall short of reality. For example, Robert Metcalf, the inventor of the ethernet, made a prediction in 1995 that, within a year, the Internet would spectacularly collapse. In 2007, the New York Times predicted that Twitter would never be any more relevant to modern-day communication than an old-fashioned short-wave radio. Tuning into predictions can be dangerous, but should they really be ignored? 2-10. In some cases, short-term predictions are far more reliable than longer-term ones. To what extent should businesses base their long-term planning on the views of “experts”? (AACSB: Written and Oral Communication; Ethical Understanding and Reasoning) 2-11. Business Monitor International is one of several organizations that seek to predict future trends in sectors, countries, and financial markets. How are these services sold to businesses as legitimate business planning tools? (AACSB: Written and Oral Communication; Reflective Thinking)
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