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June 13, 2011


Bud Byrd

I, too, am celebrating the 100th anniversary of our great company, IBM. It seems just yesterday that my wife and I (a fairly new employee) sat at the IBM Family Dinner table in the ballroom of one of our local hotels to celebrate the 50th anniversary of IBM. As I recall, that was in the mid-sixties, sometime after the launch of System 360. I believe the company was a few years late in celebrating our half century of business, but that is understandable in the context of our then recent move to System 360.

For those of us who had any understanding of the risk taken and the apparent success of the “bet your company” venture know as System 360, I also think the celebration was to mark our survival. More than a quarter century later, I lived through our troubled early and mid 90's crisis. In each, we came through with flying colors ...blue of course. IBM truly is a great success story. I am thrilled to look back and remember that I played a small, hopefully productive, certainly, very self satisfying, part in that success.

I have been a consumer of your blog output for some time. Much as you describe your entry into the blogging community, in the early years, I got the bug and blogged on a regular basis. I blogged for two or three years, but then lost my way, became lazy, and satisfied myself with reading the blogs of others and commenting on their posting. While reading the writings of others was stimulating and commenting provided a path to interact, for the most part, I left creative blogging to others.

Your recent post stimulated my interest in resuming my blog. Mine is not so eloquent, not as intellectual, nonetheless, it is a satisfying way for me to flick my bits into cyberspace with a hope that some of the reassembled bytes are meaningful to someone.

Thanks for your blog. I, for one, appreciate the effort that you must expend to research, publish and maintain a quality work. Please keep it going.

Marjorie  Madfis

This is a wonderful blog. And, personally as I have been celebrating the centennial and communicating about it, I was beginning to feel like "chopped liver" since I am not in the technology professions. So I was really appreciative of your acknowledgment of marketing skills: " ... you also need excellent market strategist who can understand the market changes out there.... And, you need people with very good social and communications skills, so they can explain to all the members of your ecosystem - clients, employees, press, financial analysts, government officials, and so on, - what is going on and what you are doing about it."

Since 1995, I have witnessed the marketing profession at IBM develop from a group of people pulled inside from sales roles who "directed" 150 or so agencies, to truly skilled professionals who understand how reach customers and prospects through digital media including web, email and social. I think we are especially good at helping businesses understand the benefits of addressing their business challenges with technology solutions and explaining the value of the outcomes. As Steve Mills said, "customers don't buy products, the buy outcomes."

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