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December 17, 2007



When referencing Worldcom, Enron, or even the recent subprime lending issues, I wonder what your thoughts are on the various compliance mechanisms employed by government to combat the "excessive" or "extreme" greed issues. I have read a fair bit about how the U.S.'s ever-increasing web of compliance regulation is onerous on small and medium-sized businesses and that some/many (depending on who you talk to) companies are setting up formal shop outside of the U.S. in order to avoid the worst of it. Here I am thinking about such initiatives as Sarbanes-Oxley, which some people say is an important component of enforcing corporate responsibility and other people say wouldn't even have addressed the core problems going on at Worldcom or Enron.

Some days I wonder whether the concept of a corporate entity, which is a government creation in and of itself, isn't a part of the problem. I understand why they were created in the first place, but the corporate entity is used so much as a shield and smokescreen that many time I find myself wondering whether any system based on the corporate model can properly address these issues.

Makio Yamazaki

In 1980s, I noticed that many U.S. companies pursued a return in the short span.
Tom Peters said in his book, "excellent leader".
The company follows an "experience-curve " in the most case. In other words,
it is the trap of the "mind-set ".
It puts differeciations on not attracting a rival, but also making the facilities
to produce products with the lower prices to win share.
To become a successor in the company, they follow an "experience-curve".
Simply, it isn't possible to become a quality prank and a service prank.
When the speed and the competition of the change is remarkable,
the operation would be different from the "experience-curve".
I also read the following report, "Winning the Global Challenge"
(IBM: http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/bus/pdf/winning-podcast.pdf ).

Chris Ward

When I joined IBM, it was explained to me that the overall business model was to spend (of the money that our customers gave us)
30% on marketing and selling
30% on manufacturing
30% on taxes and dividends
9% on product development
1% on basic research

That was in the days when IBM did more manufacturing (disk files, displays, personal computers) and the Global Services business wasn't identified as such; so the balance is probably different now, but the principles are roughly the same.

IBMers in different 'walks of life' within this have different measures of success; and different timescales to work on. The '100% club' for salesmen/women is definitely 'quarterly'. Development is roughly 'annual', and Research can extend maybe up to 5 years.

I'm not sure if you view it as 'One research scientist supports 99 other IBMers'; or 'It takes 99 regular IBMers to support one scientist'; but there's a certain symbiosis.

Without the Research core, IBM would still be manufacturing typewriters. Very good typewriters by this stage, but typewriters nevertheless.

So, we'll see. OS/2 is over, just like typewriters. I think for mass market it's all 'IBM value add on top of a collaboratively-developed shared open-source (Linux) base'.
Lotus SmartSuite is on the glide-path down to land; get your Lotus Symphony here http://symphony.lotus.com/ .

IBM (and therefore IBM's customers) seem to be taking advantage of all the academically-developed software, built in universities over the 25 years since the dawn of the PC era. And why not ? That's what it's there for.

The future may be radically different from the past. And that's good.

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