“I predict the Internet in 1996 [will] catastrophically collapse.”
Robert Metcalfe (1995)
Did you know the person who co-invented Ethernet predicted the demise of the Web? Robert Metcalfe told InfoWorld in 1995 that “the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” Three years later, he would literally eat those words on stage after running his column through a blender.
So why did Metcalfe go out on this limb? He was opining about capacity and whether the infrastructure of the web would hold up under ever-increasing demand. He didn’t stop there. In 2011 Metcalfe told TechCrunch that there is a social networking bubble. “It will burst like all previous bubbles have.” Watch out, Facebook!