Bill Gates’ missed prediction on printed paper

In 2000 Bill Gates foresaw that printed paper would disappear by 2007. As we all know, this turned out to be a reckless forecast. Even though digitalization and the actual number of computers (including desktops and laptops) has grown by 1000% since then, even though we have witnessed the advent of e-mails, chats, the web and cloud computing, paper has still not abandoned us.

Since 2011 the whole volume of printed paper has only declined by 1.5%. More precisely, global production went from 3.03 billion down to 2.98 billion printed pages. (Data from IDC analysis related to inkjet and laser print-outs.)

Right, we can record a light decrease but we must also consider that the economic crisis has reduced drastically the production and usage of paper of many Western businesses.

Even though tablets are beating sales records since 2008, black on white print-out is still the most comfortable, pleasant and healthy way to read. Especially in the office environment we enjoy reading print-outs in order not to tire our eyes and have the opportunity to scrabble on them.

The morale that this data tells is that gurus’ ideas can be often creative but reckless and what is worse is that they are passed on new generations…on paper obviously.


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