This week in 2007: Making predictions and the internet’s long memory

Be careful what you say on the internet, cause it’s there forevs.

You know what’s my idea of a fun Friday evening? Kicking back on the couch with a G&T, looking back through history at all the high-flying execs who said really stupid things about trends and changes and how they don’t think it’ll go anywhere.

High-flying execs have been saying stupid things for donkey’s years, but the beautiful thing about the internet is it’s all still there.

And this week’s flashback to 2007 brings us some pearlers.

Let’s start with Telstra’s then operations chief, Greg Winn, who was pretty much ‘meh’ about the arrival of the iPhone.

“I think people overreacted to it—there was not a lot of tremendously new stuff if you think about it,” he said in the belief that the initial fanfare would likely wither due to the costs of managing upgrades.

Another rather amusing remnant on the internet from this week in 2007, five months out from the global financial crisis, was this comment from AMP Capital Investors chief economist Shane Oliver: ‘”There is no sign of any impending crash on my calculations … the economic backdrop looks pretty good with pretty solid profit growth, relatively low interest rates, all at a time when the demand for shares is quite high.”

Sure, we’re not fortune tellers, and Australia did come off pretty light. But still, draws a chuckle, doesn’t it?

But it’s not all laughs about bung predictions. Sadly, it’s been 10 years since we first started talking about carbon trading and greenhouse gas reduction schemes in business, and some days it feels like we’re still not getting anywhere.

PWC’s climate change services leader at the time, Andrew Peterson, told SmartCompany, “The language has changed. It is now more about when, not if.”

When indeed. Let’s hope when we look back in another 10 years we’ll be feeling a lot less cynical.

Be Smart,

Aunty B


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