Three Hilariously Terrible Tech Predictions

Or, how I’ve learned to be careful about dismissing new trends

Clive Thompson
7 min readJun 1, 2023


Photo by Look Up Look Down Photography on Unsplash

I write about technology a lot, so frequently people ask me: How do you predict what’s coming next?

The answer is, I don’t. Most of the time in my writing, I avoid trying to prognosticate what direction technology is going to go.

This is partly because predicting the near future is — intellectually and journalistically — a rather hollow activity. Tech pundits constantly bloviate about The Road Ahead, but nobody ever checks years later to see if they were right. The crystal-ball industry has zero accountability.

So me? I prefer generally to report on the technological present — a task where you really can be factually correct, and held to account if you’re wrong.

But there’s a whole other reason I mostly avoid predicting which technology is going to rise or fall:

In the past, wow — I’ve made some hilariously bad judgment calls. And I’ve witnessed some real doozies amongst other journalists I know.

They were so incredibly off-base that it’s made me cautious about over-confidently insisting I know where things are headed.



Clive Thompson

I write 2X a week on tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer at NYT mag/Wired; author, “Coders”.