Ibm Founder Quotes

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A while back, I came across a line attributed to IBM founder Thomas Watson. If you want to achieve excellence, he said, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.
Tom Peters
The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it. This literally turns a failure into a success. “Success,” said IBM founder T. J. Watson, “is on the far side of failure.” But not to acknowledge a mistake, not to correct it and learn from it, is a mistake of a different order. It usually puts a person on a self-deceiving, self-justifying path, often involving rationalization (rational lies) to
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
I once heard a story about Tom Watson, the founder of IBM. Asked to what he attributed the phenomenal success of IBM, he is said to have answered: IBM is what it is today for three special reasons. The first reason is that, at the very beginning, I had a very clear picture of what the company would look like when it was finally done. You might say I had a model in my mind of what it would look like when the dream—my vision—was in place. The second reason was that once I had that picture, I then asked myself how a company which looked like that would have to act. I then created a picture of how IBM would act when it was finally done. The third reason IBM has been so successful was that once I had a picture of how IBM would look when the dream was in place and how such a company would have to act, I then realized that, unless we began to act that way from the very beginning, we would never get there. In other words, I realized that for IBM to become a great company it would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one. From the very outset, IBM was fashioned after the template of my vision. And each and every day we attempted to model the company after that template. At the end of each day, we asked ourselves how well we did, discovered the disparity between where we were and where we had committed ourselves to be, and, at the start of the following day, set out to make up for the difference. Every day at IBM was a day devoted to business development, not doing business. We didn’t do business at IBM, we built one Now,
Michael E. Gerber (The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It)
These founders didn’t necessarily start billion-dollar companies because they worked at Google, Oracle, or IBM. Instead, perhaps those brand-name companies attracted the most ambitious and entrepreneurially minded people in the first place.
Ali Tamaseb (Super Founders: What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups)
The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it. This literally turns a failure into a success. “Success,” said IBM founder T. J. Watson, “is on the far side of failure.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
They were so happy to be relieved of those strictures that they very quickly lapsed. Not everyone, of course, but the majority. We built the company a little too fast, and consequently the last 50 percent of the people hired really didn't have much commitment to the corporate culture. There were some warning signs. Consider McKinsey, which holds itself out as one of the world's leading repositories of knowledge on how to manage a business. They say they'll never grow their company by more than 25 percent per year, because otherwise it's just too hard to transmit the corporate culture. So if you're growing faster than 25 percent a year, you have to ask yourself, "What do I know about management that McKinsey doesn't know?" I still think it's more efficient—this is just an old Lisp programmer's standard way of thinking—if you have two really good people and a very powerful tool. That's better than having 20 mediocre people and inefficient tools. ArsDigita demonstrated that pretty well. We were able to get projects done in about 1/5th the time and probably at about 1/10th or 1/20th the cost of people using other tools. Of course, we would do it at 1/20th of the cost and we would charge 1/10th of the cost. So the customer would have a big consumer surplus. They would pay 1/10th of what they would have paid with IBM Global Services or Broadvision or something, but we would have a massive profit margin because we'd be spending less than half of what they paid us to do the job.
Jessica Livingston (Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Charles Ferguson won an Oscar in 2011 for Inside Job, his documentary on the financial crisis, and was an Oscar nominee for his first documentary, No End In Sight, on the war in Iraq. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, holds a PhD in Political Science from MIT, and has been a technology policy consultant to the White House and the Office of the US Trade Representative, as well as to leading technology companies including Apple, IBM, and Texas Instruments. He was the co-founder of Vermeer Technologies, which invented the web tool Front Page, later sold to Microsoft. A former visiting scholar at MIT and Berkeley, he has also been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. He has written four books, and is a life member of the Council of Foreign Relations and a director of the French-American Foundation.
Charles H. Ferguson (Inside Job: The Rogues Who Pulled Off the Heist of the Century)
I think there is a world wide market for maybe five computers. (Thomas Watson, Chairman IBM, 1943) This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us. (Western Union internal memo, 1876) But what is it good for? (Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip) There is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home. (Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977) Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. (Popular Mechanics, 1949)
Briony J. Oates (Researching Information Systems and Computing)
Groupon is a study of the hazards of pursuing scale and valuation at all costs. In 2010, Forbes called it the “fastest growing company ever” after its founders raised $135 million in funding, giving Groupon a valuation of more than $1 billion after just 17 months.5 The company turned down a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google and went public in 2011 with one of the biggest IPOs since Google’s in 2004.6 It was one of the original unicorns. However, the business model had serious problems. Groupon sometimes sold so many Daily Deals that participating businesses were overwhelmed . . . even crippled. Other businesses accused Groupon of strong-arming them to sign up for Daily Deals. Customers started to view the group discount (the company’s bread and butter) as a sign that a participating business was desperate. Businesses stopped signing up. Journalists suggested that Groupon was prioritizing customer acquisition over retention — growth over value — and that it had gone public before it had a solid, proven business model.7 Groupon is still a player, with just over $3 billion in annual revenue in 2015. But its stock has fallen from $26 a share to about $4 today, and it has withdrawn from many international markets. Also revealing is that the company is suing IBM for patent infringement, something that will not create customer value.8 Many promising startups have paid the price for rushing to scale. We can see clues to potential future failures in the recent “down rounds” (stock purchases priced at a lower valuation than those of previous investors) hitting companies like Foursquare, Gilt Group, Jet, Jawbone, and Technorati. In their rush to build scale, executives and founders search for shortcuts to sustainable, long-term revenue growth.
Brian de Haaff (Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It)
In 1973 the companies and individuals later to be identified with the advent of the personal computer were otherwise engaged. IBM was still turning out electric typewriters; Microsoft’s Bill Gates was a freshman entering Harvard; and Steve Jobs, the future co-founder of Apple Computer, was a college dropout wandering around India in search of his Zen master. But
Michael A. Hiltzik (Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age)
In the early days of IBM, when a newly promoted executive lost a lot of money on a bet that went wrong, founder Thomas Watson let everyone know he wasn’t going to be fired. “Why would I fire him?” he asked. “We just spent thirty thousand dollars educating him.
Jason Jennings (The Reinventors: How Extraordinary Companies Pursue Radical Continuous Change)
The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it. This literally turns a failure into a success. “Success,” said IBM founder T. J. Watson, “is on the far side of failure.” But not to acknowledge a mistake, not to correct it and learn from it, is a mistake of a different order. It usually puts a person on a self-deceiving, self-justifying path, often involving rationalization (rational lies) to self and to others. This second mistake, this cover-up, empowers the first, giving it disproportionate importance, and causes far deeper injury to self. It is not what others do or even our own mistakes that hurt us the most; it is our response to those things. Chasing after the poisonous snake that bites us will only drive the poison through our entire system. It is far better to take measures immediately to get the poison out. Our response to any mistake affects the quality of the next moment. It is important to immediately admit and correct our mistakes so that they have no power over that next moment and we are empowered again.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
Actually, IBM went through a severe identity crisis. It almost missed the computer opportunity. It became capable of growth only through a palace coup which overthrew Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the company’s founder, its chief executive, and for long years the prophet of “data processing.
Peter F. Drucker (Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices)
The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it. This literally turns a failure into a success. “Success,” said IBM founder T. J. Watson,
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)