“Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world” – Bill Gates
If I take a look at today’s tweets of people involved in online education, this sentence has been retweeted by basically everyone.
In case you are not familiar with Bill Gates and his “predictions” you should take a look at the video below. It’s one of his famous keynote speeches, in this case “Information at your Fingertips 2005″.
I bet a guy in a black turtle neck took some notes back then – in 1994.
Since I have bought my first computer with the money I made from selling most of my toys I admire Bill Gates and I think he is too often in the shadow of Steve Jobs who is for sure a brilliant marketer but when it comes to vision and shaping the future Bill Gates definitely takes the lead.
Of course, we need to take into account that his predictions are usually off by a couple of years. In this case he predicted all the devices shown in the video in a timeframe of 10 years and he was off by about three to four years, taking the iPhone launch in 2007 and its real rise on the market in 2009 as approximate landmarks.
His prediction for online education is five years which would convert to 6 1/2 to 7 years if we took the formula above ;).