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Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company
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Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  21 reviews
One hundred years ago, the company that would become IBM took its first steps into an unknown future. In Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company, journalists Kevin Maney, Steve Hamm and Jeffrey M. O’Brien tell a story of progress that illuminates, and transcends, the rich history of a single enterprise.

Through extensive research, they ex

Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 16th 2011 by IBM Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.57  · 
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 ·  117 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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A classic inspiring fairy tale experience of a corporate house clocking its hundred years with its wings spread over 170 countries is depicted in this compilation. IBM has achieved major breakthroughs in the field of Mainframes, Supercomputers, Health Science etc in these hundred years of its operation. The objective of the book is to give a brief insight into the values and principles followed at IBM to deal with client requirement fulfillment. The solid foundation for such a huge organisation ...more
Melissa T
This took me a very long time to get through. Not because of the content, per se, but because of the style. It read a lot like a textbook, so trying to read it at night was often a no go, with only getting about 10-15 pages read and then falling asleep. I actually just took the last couple of hours to finish the last 150 pages.

As a former IBM employee, it's interesting to see the evolution of the company throughout history, and to have first hand experiences of how the company's values were put
Nov 20, 2011 rated it liked it
If you project the philosophy of this book into the future, it seems to suggest that we will all be like bees in a beehive, working efficiently for the good of a smarter planet. In that smarter planet, complex systems will be fully understood, and information systems will tell each of us exactly what needs to be done.

I'm proud to work for IBM, but this book is a little bit frightening. I prefer to think we live in world where complex system can never be fully understood or controlled. I like a
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
When i worked at IBM, they gave me this book. It's well written, so it's easy to read. In one part, they explain the interesting history of IBM. And other part, is more about the changes in the technology and computer science. That part somewhat, if possible, made me feel even more excited about studying Computer Science and Software Development.
Aug 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
As a recent hire at IBM, I found this book spot on. This describes why people join IBM. I'm reminded of the story of when John Sculley was hired at Apple, where Jobs famously asked "Do you want to sell sugar water the rest of your life, or do you want to ... change the world?" Seems like that concept -- wanting to be part of something that changes the world -- works at IBM, too. The book consists of three parts written by three different authors. The first part describes a model of a technology ...more
Brent McGregor
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Being an IBM guy myself, I cannot over emphasize how understated Big Blue is in this world. For innovate, fast, and reliable computing, IBM is without peer. But, few people can tell you why IBM consistently produces great technology and value. This book helps the casual computer user understand how IBM has been all about getting the job done.

Each platform can boast of something that it does best, but this book demonstrates how IBM has paved the way for all others to grow from. From RAM to HDD to
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
On June 16, 2011, IBM celebrated their centennial. Today, computers influence nearly every aspect of our lives. Who knew that punch cards would serve to change the world to such an extent?

Making the World Work Better looks at the history of innovation at IBM and the computing world in general. It’s really quite an amazing journey. A hundred years ago, punch cards were useful for collecting data for time cards and the like but they couldn’t do anything with that data and they sure couldn’t manip
Balasubramaniam Namasivayam
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nice read !!! its a fact i come to know from the book that Charles Babbage's analytical engine was inspired by a Jacquard loom which is used to produce larger patterns to the fabric. The input to the first computational machine run by punched card which is the same technique in jacquard loom!!!
( today that technology reversed, now Jacquard looms runs not by punched cards but by digital signals from a computer !!!!!)
This book contains a comprehensive research on the history of the computer, how
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it
There are three sections to the book, by three different authors. Part 1 is a survey of the history of computing emphasizing IBM's contribution, which works well since the company was there from the beginning. Part 2 is more of a businessman's perspective and was a bit less interesting to me. Part 3 is an essay on the process of solving complex problems (seeing, measuring, understanding, believing and acting) and made some insightful observations.
On the whole, the book was less of a 'corporate b
Mark Whitson
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this book thinking that it would provide a rich history of IBM and how it became a successful business. Instead, this book focused more on developments in technology over the last century and how they have affected the world. I will admit that the changes in technology were fascinating, and I was surprised by how much of a role IBM played in shaping our present world. However, I think the book could have said more about IBM as a business instead of just focusing on the technology of the t ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
It reads like an 'about us' of a website for a pamphlet on a front desk, except 300x longer.

Not a bad read, provides a lot of history and explains the culture but I wouldn't quite recommend it to anyone.

Got it free from work... may as well give it a read.
Mia Claire
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Won this book in a giveaway.
Jan 20, 2012 marked it as will-read-someday
Got this book for free at work. Hello there, I have no idea when I'll read you.
Cristiano Colantuono
Mar 10, 2015 marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Mihai Criveti
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Mostly skimmed through it, but found it pretty interesting...
Anna Jacobson
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book made me really proud to be an IBMer.
Oct 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Very educational. Even having worked 10+ years at IBM, I wasn't aware of everything covered in this book. The book really answers the question "what does IBM do?".
May 06, 2012 is currently reading it
Currently reading it.
Robb Fitzsimmons
Old school corporate history of the kind only IBM would do any more. Which made it awesome and me slightly nostalgic for my Quaker days.
Dec 09, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
Oh My Geezus! I won again! Happy Christmas to meeeeeeeeeeee!!! *singing in falsetto
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Steve Stansel
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Shivanand K
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Jun 30, 2011
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“So computer companies, listening to their existing customers, didn’t” 0 likes
“The human brain has a mechanism for dealing with data overload. It forgets. If indeed we’re on a path to building machines that think like us, how ironic if the next great invention in computer memory turns out to be forgetting.” 0 likes
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