IBM marked a milestone, as the company finished its 100th year. Plenty of tech companies have come and gone over the decades, but IBM has endured. To celebrate and reflect on its 100 years of innovation, IBM has put together a website with photos, films, and essays highlighting its centennial achievement.
International Business Machines (IBM) had humble beginnings when three men, Julius E. Pitrap, Alexander Dey, Herman Hollerith, and Willard Bundy invented a computing scale, a dial recorder, an electric tabulating machine, and an employment time clock in the 1880s. Charles Ranlett Flint collected the companies behind the inventions together, forming Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in 1911.
Flint would later bring in Thomas J. Watson to head the company, which doubled revenues and boosted the company’s image, fueled by his simple slogan, “THINK”. In 1924, C-T-R renamed itself International Business Machines Corporation and has remained a constant innovator in technology ever since.
Part of the reason for IBM’s longevity has been its ability to adapt. Technology comes and goes quickly, but it has always presented customers with a diverse range of products while also maintaining its core focus on business technology and customer service. For that, IBM has been able to hold on to generations of loyal business customers.
Today, IBM has nearly 500,000 employees in offices that span the globe. It is certainly not above criticism for some of its business activities over the years, but it has managed to survive depressions and recessions, all the while on to Watson’s slogan, “THINK”. One cannot help but be impressed and humbled by wise seniors who teach us about the past. IBM has undoubtedly earned that right, at least from a historian’s perspective.
Will Big Blue survive another century?