Tom Watson quotes

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Tom Watson

Birthdate: 17. February 1874
Date of death: 19. June 1956

Thomas John Watson Sr. was an American businessman. He served as the chairman and CEO of International Business Machines . He oversaw the company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956. Watson developed IBM's management style and corporate culture from John Henry Patterson's training at NCR. He turned the company into a highly-effective selling organization, based largely on 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. Wikipedia

Photo: IBM / CC BY-SA 3.0

Quotes Tom Watson

„All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work.“

—  Tom Watson

Actually a remark by Nicholas Murray Butler.
Quoted by Watson in comments about "Think" and attributed to Nicholas Murray Butler - IBM Archives: Comments on "THINK" - Transcript https://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/multimedia/think_trans.html
Misattributed
Source: American Dental Association (1959) The Journal of the American Dental Association. Vol 59. p. 289.

„If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less than excellent work.“

—  Tom Watson

Attributed to Watson in: William G. Dickerson (1995) In search of the ultimate practice. p. 19.

„Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.“

—  Tom Watson

Watson (1939) in: American druggist Vol 100. p. 40.

„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.“

—  Tom Watson

Attributed to Watson in: Georg Blair, Sandy Meadows (1996) A Real-Life Guide to Organizational Change. p. 117.

„A man is known by the company he keeps. A company is known by the men it keeps.“

—  Tom Watson

Source: Garg, Anu, A Word A Day, Wordsmith, 2016.02.17

„I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.“

—  Tom Watson

Often dated to 1943. Thorough research of Watson's writings and statements have produced no example of him saying this. It appears to be a corruption of a remark by Howard Aiken that four or five computers could meet all of the United Kingdom's computing needs. See Ralph Keyes (2006), The Quote Verifier.
Misattributed

„If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.“

—  Tom Watson

Attributed to Watson in: Roger von Oech (1982), A Whack on the Side of the Head and Industrial participation (1987) Nr 594-603. p. 262.

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