by Thomas Wailgum

The Betting Man’s Guide to Tech’s Sure Things

Oct 06, 2010
Data Center

What's more likely: You find reliable Wi-Fi at a conference or the real Kim Kardashian follows you on Twitter? We break down the odds of your everyday tech life, from the long shots to the sure bets.

Wi-Fi Fail at Conferences

At an IT conference, the odds that a conference hall or hotel’s wireless network will go down: Even. (Just ask Steve Jobs about his problematic WWDC 2010 presentation.)

Synergistic Relations


Chances that a tech vendor CEO will say the word “synergy” when announcing a new partnership: 1 in 2. (Odds that she thinks it’ll actually save her company: 1 in 900.)

An Evil Search-Engine Company?


During the next 20 years, the odds that Google will actually do some evil stuff: 1 in 2.

The Rich Get Richer


This year, the odds that Larry Ellison will add another billion to his net worth: 1 in 4. (That he will actually notice: 1 in 15,000.)

She Ain’t Into You


Chances that that’s the real “Kim Kardashian” following you on Twitter: 1 in 1,000,000. Chances that you just got a virus by following her back: Even.

Enter at Your Own Risk


Odds that your company’s ERP upgrade will come in on time and on budget, and all business stakeholders will be pleased with the new functionality: 1 in 757,000. (Odds that the “f” word—”fail”—will be associated with the project: 1 in 3.)

Don’t Bother Calling


The odds that Apple’s public relations department will return a journalist’s call or e-mail inquiry: 1 in 622,000,000. (If you’re the New York Times’ David Pogue: 1 in 3.)

Sleeping Beauties


The odds that the PowerPoint presentation that your CFO is about to deliver will have fewer than 40 slides: 1 in 400. (Odds you’ll fall asleep during: 1 in 2.)

Who Cares About Cell Phones, Anyway?


Odds that Microsoft’s $500 million investment in Windows 7 mobile will topple entrenched competition: 1 in 50,000. (Chances that Microsoft execs kick themselves daily for not buying RIM a long time ago: 1 in 3.)

(Really) Early Retirement


A 41-year-old CIO at a Fortune 1000 suddenly “retires” while rumors swirl about a major IT meltdown. Odds that he’s actually “retiring to spend more time with family and/or on the golf course” (1 in 10,000); that he’ll ever work again in IT (1 in 3); that he’s secretly ecstatic to be free from “the grind” (Even).

Lost..and Found?


Odds that your lost BlackBerry/iPhone/Droid will be returned to you—unused and unharmed—by a Good Samaritan: 1 in 7. (Odds that you wish you had remembered to turn on password security: Even.)

It’s Almost Beyond Description!


Odds that a tech press release announcing a new product will use the terms “industry leading,” “robust solution” and/or “cloud-ready”: Even. (That anyone will read the entire release: 1 in 750,000.)