Thomas J. Watson biography

Thomas J. Watson

Businessperson, Author

1874 – 1956

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Who was Thomas J. Watson?

Thomas John Watson, Sr. was the chairman and CEO of International Business Machines, who oversaw that company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956. Watson developed IBM's distinctive management style and corporate culture, and turned the company into a highly-effective selling organization, based largely around punched card tabulating machines. A leading self-made industrialist, he was one of the richest men of his time and was called the world's greatest salesman when he died in 1956.

Famous Quotes:

  • Solve it. Solve it quickly, solve it right or wrong. If you solve it wrong, it will come back and slap you in the face, and then you can solve it right. Lying dead in the water and doing nothing is a comfortable alternative because it is without risk, but it is an absolutely fatal way to manage a business.
  • Would you like me to give you a formula for... success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You're thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all... you can be discouraged by failure -- or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that's where you'll find success. On the far side.
  • The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm.
  • Don't make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.
  • A manager is an assistant to his men.
  • I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
  • Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of crackpot than the stigma of conformity.
  • Once an organization loses its spirit of pioneering and rests on its early work, its progress stops.
  • If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.
  • The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.

Citation

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"Thomas J. Watson." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 21 Oct. 2020. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/thomas_j_watson>.


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Born
Feb 17, 1874
Campbell
Also known as
  • Thomas Watson
Spouses
Children
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Columbia University
Employment
  • IBM
Lived in
  • Elmira
  • New York City
Died
Jun 19, 1956
New York City

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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