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A Business and Its Beliefs : The Ideas That Helped Build IBM Hardcover – Facsimile, May 15, 2003

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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About the Author

Thomas J. Watson Jr. joined IBM as a salesman in 1937, and rose to become president, CEO, and chairman of the board by the late 1950s.

He was also an influential member of the President's Advisory Committee on Labor-Management Policy.


Product Details

  • Series: McGraw-Hill Leadership Classics
  • Hardcover: 108 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (May 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071418598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071418591
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The IBM official biography have this to say about Thomas Watson Jr.

" During his leadership, IBM grew from a medium-sized business to one of the dozen largest industrial corporations in the world. When Mr. Watson became CEO in 1956, IBM employed 72,500 people and had a gross income of $892 million. When he stepped down in 1971, employees numbered more than 270,000 and gross revenue was $8.3 billion. Fortune magazine once called him "the greatest capitalist who ever lived."

It is a great book, though I initially had misgivings getting the book. Are the principles of 1963 applicable today? When I looked at the Amazon site, it was ranked 433,861 in sales, and I would be the first to review it. Uhmmmm... If I had not been so enamored by his story by another book, "Father , Son & Company" which he co-authored with Peter Petre, I would not have bought this one.

Notwithstanding, I will not hesitate to say it is still one of the most important book in building the foundation of a great corporation, much akin to the principles in the bestseller book "Built to Last" by Jim Collins (#31 in Amazon list) . Only it is less sensational, but written by a True Blue practitioner who can really claim to the saying, been there, done that. With plethoras of business books proliferating, it is important to see, before believing, that the authors recommendations match his accomplishments. Or else, there will always be the question -- if he knows the stock market so well, why is he writing the book instead of investing in Wall Street?

It is one of those rare books, that is as relevant today as it was published over 40 years ago.
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