Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday IBM!

A pile of inflatable balloons.Image via WikipediaToday, IBM celebrates its birthday. Born on June 16th, 1911, IBM is now 100 years old. One might expect that at the ripe old age of 100 the company would be creaking along with brittle bones, weak knees, a bad heart, and finding it hard to get up in the morning. But no, the century-old technology giant is bigger than ever, and not just surviving, but thriving!

In addition to announcing its 100th birthday, IBM has also announced that they have surpassed $100 billion in annual sales. Now I’m quite sure they haven’t counted to the penny, but even when you factor in the fact that most mainframe servers sell at over a million dollars, that’s an awful lot of technology and services that the company is moving.

It’s hard not to be impressed with a giant that has held its ground and stayed ahead, fending off attacks over the years by Hitachi, Microsoft, HP, SUN (does anyone even remember them?), and others. IBM would say the reason for their success is technology leadership; it’s hard to disagree when you consider that IBM has topped the patent list for the past 18 years, and the recent success of Watson on Jeopardy gives us just a hint of what’s to come.

But when we consider IBM’s full 100 years, the word I would choose to describe IBM’s success is persistence. They never gave up. When the chips were down (pun intended) they re-grouped, developed new strategies, strengthened customer relationships, and persisted.

Of all the news coverage on this event today, my favorite is this AP release from Endicott, printed here at the Wall Street Journal. Enjoy!

Happy 100th Birthday IBM!


Anonymous said...

I was surprised at the pride I felt in my 30 years at IBM when Watson won at Jeopardy, and now it's happening again. Happy Birthday IBM.

Carol Kilgore said...

100. Wow.

Colette said...

Yes, considering my 30 years at IBM, 100 seems like a long long time.