chapter  7
28 Pages

Lessons from Failed Technology Futures: Potholes in the Road to the Future

New technologies and their impact on society have always been the subject of speculation.1 And technological developments are always accompanied by images of the future. This goes for the early stages of new technological developments, when people speculate about the eventual shape of the technology and its embedment in society. But it also goes for established technologies, when people expect the evolution in current technological trajectories to continue forever. Images of future development, together with parallel assessments of the current situation, abound in the implicit and explicit strategies that guide firms, government investment and user purchases.