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!