Industrialist Thomas J. Watson (1874-1956) born on this date in Campbell, New York. He is best known for building the IBM, International Business Machines Corporation, into the world's largest manufacturer of electric typewriters and data-processing equipment.
Under Watson's guidance, IBM became a symbol of the age of information. "The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm," he said.
Watson joined the fast-growing National Cash Register, NCR, Corporation in 1898 as a salesman and worked his way up the corporate ladder over the next 15 years.
"If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work," he believed.
With the creation of IBM in 1914, Watson believed a positive attitude and customer service were the keys to success. All salesmen had to know how to install and service products.
Watson celebrated a positive outlook and the importance of customer service. He designed a sign that said, "THINK," a key to success that he hung above his desk.
"Always remember that your personality is your big asset. Do no try to emulate another person. Real personality comes from the heart," he advised.
In 1955, Watson told Time magazine that his Model 702 Electronic Data Processing Machine "had a computing ability of 25,000 trained mathematicians." One of the few companies that flourished during the Depression, IBM at the time of Watson's death had offices in over 80 nations, with assets of $629 million.
"Within us there are wells of vision and dynamos of energy, which are not suspected," he said.
Know that failure is one step closer to success.