Skip to main content

Happy Birthday I.B.M. - Thanks For Changing Everything


Back on June 16, 1911, a group of technology companies merged and called themselves the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Kind of catchy but later in 1924 they decided they needed something catchier and so renamed themselves International Business Machines which is now better known to the world as IBM. 


IBM has dominated the technology sector for most of it's 100 year history by having the uncanny ability to foresee where technology is heading and having the right product mix available to support the need. They also were smart enough to recognize a dieing technology or something well on it's way to being a commodity and got out of that business before losing money. 


Some examples of this would be getting out of the timeclock business, selling off their typewriter division to a little company called Lexmark ones they recognized the word processor was about to crush the once mighty typewriter, selling off their hard drive division to Hitachi even though they invented them, and one of the most surprising was selling of their PC division to Lenovo back in 2004 for a cool $1.8 billion. Considering how cheap and dirty the PC market has become, you can't say it wasn't a smart move on their part. 


Some other inventions to their credit include the web server, the punch card, electric typewriters, mainframe computers, laser surgical procedures and nanotubes to name a few. Although other companies come to mind when the subject of innovation comes up, the fact remains that in 2010 alone, IBM had a total of 5896 new patents to their name which is the most of any company in the world including GE, Apple, Google or Sony.

That's not to say they haven't made a few mistakes along the way. Back in 1981, when they introduced their Personal Computer, they hired a little known company to create the operating system. Since IBM believed that the hardware was mightier than the software, they agreed to allow the small company to keep the rights to the software and allow them to license the operating system, or DOS, as they wished. This little company was Microsoft and that deal helped make Bill Gates one of the richest men in the world.


Years later IBM tried to jump back into the operating system market and challenge Microsoft with their own version of an operating system but needless to say, Windows prevailed and IBM stuck to what it does best. 



 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Candies You Grew Up With That May Gross You Out Now (Part 2)

In part 1 of this series, we looked at some examples of candies that you may have grew up with in the 70s and 80s that hold a sweet memory in your mind of carefree and happier times when getting a sugar high after school was paramount on your things to do list. The reality is some of these treats were actually kind of disgusting but it took years of maturing before coming to that conclusion. Not all of it was that bad though. Here's a look at some more of our favorite sugar fix delivery systems. 
Candy Necklaces - Candy that allowed for sharing was always fun. These candy bracelets and necklaces allowed you to share with your nearest and dearest friends and make you the most popular kid in the schoolyard. Your friends would line up for a chance to chew off a sweet morsel off the string hanging around your neck. The wouldn't even mind or care that the string of candy has been hanging around your neck all day on a hot and humid summer day while you played soccer. Yummy.

Pop Rocks

I Want My MTV - To Start Playing Music Videos Again

There was a time when having your song played on the radio in a regular rotation was the most critical aspect of music promotion. Getting on the air in major markets was paramount to success. It was all about the quality of the music and vocals, there was substance, there was talent, you didn't have to be pretty or ruggedly handsome to have a hit record. Then it all went hell. Well, not at first.




In 1981, Music Television went on the air in the U.S. and single handedly changed the way music was marketed and promoted virtually overnight. MTV was the brainchild of Warner Communications and American Express, who funded Warners' cable business but wanted a commercial outlet to reach the teen and young adult markets who traditionally have high disposable income.

When Warner and Amex gave the go ahead for the channel, the timing couldn't have been worse. In the late 70s, record companies were hurting and looking to cut costs and one of the first things on the chopping block were m…

Retro Video of the Day - Max Headroom's Christmas Classic

Need a break from all the sappy Christmas music that is no doubt following you around everywhere you go these days as you prepare for the magic of Christmas while draining your savings account? Search no further - Max Headroom is back to bring you some retro joy.

Remember him? If your a retro fan then you are aware of the odd phenomenon from the mid 80s that spawned a bit of a craze. With technology becoming a bigger part of our lives and video technology pushing new boundaries, the timing was perfect for the emergence of a fictional artificial intelligence doing his thing on a video screen.

Max Headroom got his start as British TV series but became better known thanks to a video by Art of Noise that featured him performing for "Paranoimia". That led to a gig as a spokesman (spokesgraphic ? spokesimage ? spokesthingy ?) or talking head for New Coke that helped propel Max into the public conscienceness.

Due to his popularity, Chrysalis released a Christmas song featuring Max sin…

Evolution of the Coke Bottle

There is no logo in the world that is more recognizable than the Coca Cola company's flagship product. Coke and its classic bottle design are a symbol known all over the world. It's gotten to the point you don't even need to have the word Coke in an advertisement as long as the distinctive bottle shape is there somewhere in the image.
The classic shape has evolved over the last hundred years and has gone from a rather boring square shaped bottle to the curvy silhouette it now maintains. Below is a timeline picture showing the changes over the years.

The shape is also responsible for designers of other products to be inspired by the sexy elements of the bottle, most notably  car designers. there are many examples but one of the best is the 1968 Corvette.

The evolution of the bottle continues with many commemorative issues produced for various promotions but one of the latest trends was the availability of metal bottles as well.  There is no doubt the bottle will continue to evo…

Furniture Inspired by Vintage Video Games

If you grew up in the 60s and 70s, and you wanted to build furniture inspired by you're favorite games, chances are you'd have to settle for a Scrabble couch with a matching love seat. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you'd have a whole new set of games to get inspiration from because chances are, you were a gamer.


So when you finally had enough to build your dream house, you considered your options and looked at different plans and eventually settled on a design you could really relate to - a house shaped like an NES gaming console.


So now you move in and arrange all your nic-naks neatly on your Tetris shelves but still it's not enough. Sure, you have Atari coat hangers but honesty, you'll never be comfortable without more furniture.Lucky for you, there are many more pieces of furniture that will fit well in your decor and match the shelves and hangers. Click the hanger below to see more video game inspired furniture. You know you want them.