Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM by Paul Carroll

By Paul Carroll

Chronicles the decline of IBM, explaining how company delight, inflexibility, undesirable judgements, and an lack of ability to appreciate a altering industry has resulted in IBM's fall. 100,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo. travel.

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Extra resources for Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM

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W atson almost w ent broke early in the Depression because he had overborrowed to buy IBM stock; he figured that if the stock had dropped just another couple of points, h e’d have been history. 4 Still, IBM kept growing right through the Depression, actually doubling in size. The 48 PAUL CARROLL company hit $40 million in annual sales by W orld W ar II. Growth slowed only briefly during the war, even though IBM switched twothirds o f its manufacturing space over to machine guns and other ord­ nance and sent lots of its young men off to war.

The room was just six feet by ten feet, and the prototypes each put out as much heat as a high-wattage light bulb, so the tem perature in the room could get to be more than a hundred degrees. Programm ers would come stumbling out of the room to get some w ater and pant for a while. H eat does funny things to electronics, 36 PAUL CARROLL too, especially when a system is in its early, unstable stages. So M icro­ soft’s program m ers sometimes spent days trying to fix what they thought was a bug in the software, only to find that their little sauna had made the hardware go haywire.

Gates and his group took their exclusion as an affront. ” t took IBM executives a few months to realize what a phenom enon their PC had become, but it didn’t take M att Fitzsimmons nearly that long. Fitzsimmons, the owner of the Com ­ puterL and franchise in W hite Plains, New York, knew the PC was a smash soon after he heard the gunshot outside his store. H e rushed outside one afternoon in the fall of 1981, to find that a despondent homeless man had walked into the rush of people trying to get into the store.

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