By Paul Carroll
Presents the interior tale of the increase and fall of IBM, supplying a devastating examine of company paperwork, loss of foresight, and decline.
A savvy newsman's tellingly exact file at the ruinous decline of IBM. Drawing on a wealth of within assets, Wall road magazine correspondent Carroll bargains an unsparing account of a advertisement juggernaut whose button-down tradition, inflexible paperwork, and complacent executives stifled improvement initiatives that can have ensured its dominance of the worldwide desktop good into the twenty first century. In remarkably brief order, in-house deficiencies and inroads made by way of nimbler competitors (Apple, Compaq, Intel, etc.) have lowered an erstwhile pacesetter to the prestige of a crippled colossus battling for its very lifestyles in an more and more unforgiving market. because the writer makes transparent, furthermore, tremendous Blue's downfall has triggered frequent soreness and damage. as well as the industrial bills borne through disregarded staff, host groups, providers, and traders, the USA may possibly lose an important degree of its aggressive side in complex applied sciences because of radically decrease examine budgets at IBM. The crucial advantage of Carroll's harsh reckoning is his chapter-and-verse solving of blame for mistakes that experience mixed to humble a once-mighty firm. between different concerns, he recounts how immense Blue (whose hierarchs stubbornly attempted to guard the company's flagship franchise in profitable yet obsolescent mainframes) fumbled probabilities to open insurmountable leads in own desktops, computing device software program, laser printers, microprocessor chips, and allied items for which call for has proved brisk. even if IBM's new stewards can plot a direction that may enable the debt-burdened leviathan regain something remotely corresponding to its former eminence, less profitability, continues to be a truly open query for the writer. between different difficulties, he notes that layoffs and voluntary departures (spurred by way of appealing severance programs) haven't in basic terms decreased but in addition demoralized the to be had pool of technical, revenues, and administration expertise. Perceptive views on computing device error of convulsive significance. --Kirkus affiliates, LP.
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Additional info for Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM
H e’d sometimes drive by his building late at night to see w hether any lights were still on; if one was, h e’d go in, wake up the engineer who was asleep at his terminal, and send him home. W hile many IBM executives take themselves extremely seriously, Estridge liked to tell stories on himself. One that became a favorite as the PC group progressed had him visiting a manufacturing line in the wee hours of the morning, at a time when the PC was being produced in volume but was still in painfully short supply.
Watson even borrowed IBM ’s “Think’’ slogan from Eugene Patterson, the head of National Cash Register. W atson also had his first brush with an antitrust suit because of overly aggressive sales tactics that Patterson instructed him to use at the Cash. W atson was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison, but the conviction was overturned on a technicality and never pursued a second time because he had left the Cash. Although the facts of the case w eren’t in dispute, Watson never acknowledged guilt or showed any remorse.
Hotel rooms were swept for bugs. IBMers Hying from the local airport in W est Palm Beach to Rochester, M inne sota— a com mon route because of close ties between the Boca and Rochester operations— w ere ordered not to talk business on the flights, because IBM was convinced that competitors were buying tickets on such flights just on the chance they’d overhear some interesting conver sation. O ne IBM executive says he stepped out of his office in Boca Raton one evening to get a cup of coffee, then returned to get plane tickets out of his desk for a flight that night.