IBM celebrated its 100-year anniversary Thursday, marking the day it was founded by Thomas Watson on June 16, 1911. The technology giant, nicknamed Big Blue, celebrated in Australia with a party attended by current IBM Australia CEO Andrew Stevens and five former CEOs, including David Thodey, who now runs Telstra. Meanwhile in the US, IBM held a day of service at its headquarters in New York to celebrate the milestone.
There’s no doubt that IBM’s contributions to society, business and science have been significant. From the development of the first hard drive disk to the invention of the UPC bar code and the IBM Personal Computer, IBM stands as the company with more patents than any other US-based technology company.
Big Blue’s research throughout the years has also brought to the world the computerized airline reservation system, the magnetic strip on your credit cards and the ATM. The company was most recently put in the news for its development of Watson, the computer that triumphed on the TV game show Jeopardy!. While IBM is still focused on the hardware production that made it what it is today, there’s also been a shift to focus more heavily on software.
IBM has some plans in store to celebrate its centennial, including the release of a book entitled, “Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company.” There will be a number of films released, as well as an IBM lecture series and a forum on the future of leadership in September.