Thomas J. Watston, Sr., fully Thomas John Watson, Sr.

Thomas J.
Watston, Sr., fully Thomas John Watson, Sr.

American Founder, CEO and Chairman of International Business Machines (IBM)

Author Quotes

God made man of the dust of the earth and man makes a god of the dust of the earth

It is my personal opinion that we are going to recover from this depression and establish on a sounder and better basis, and we are going to reach greater heights of prosperity than ever before in this country. Now, that is just my personal opinion, but it is based on history, because that is what has happened following every depression. As we read the history of the various depressions we find that the people all felt about them just as we do about this one. One of the reasons we go ahead rapidly after coming out of a depression is that inventive genius and business talents have been put to a test, and they have always devised new and better ways to do things.

Put First Things First! These four words cover an entire philosophy which can be applied with profit by every business leader, by every executive and by every employee.

The only way that we want you men to handle the competition proposition is the only way we can afford to allow you men to handle it, that is, strictly on the merits of our goods. . . . You people when you come down to competition-must not do anything that's in restraint of trade, anything that will restrain the other fellow from selling his goods, anything that could be construed by anybody as unfair competition," he said, stammering in his earnestness. "You know, gentlemen, it is bad policy to do anything unfair with anybody, anywhere at any time, isn't it, in business or outside of business? No man ever won except in the one honest, fair and square way in which you men are working." The audience burst into applause, interrupting Watson again and again as he assured them that he would uphold fairness no matter what the competition did.. . The spirit of the meeting quickened; and Watson, for the first time, began to take command.

We are all trying to learn how to do a better job.

You don't hear things that are bad about your company unless you ask. It is easy to hear good tidings, but you have to scratch to get the bad news.

Good design is good business. Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all ... good design must primarily serve people.

It was necessary for us to discover greater powers of destruction than our enemies. We did. But after every war we have followed through with a new rise in our standard of living by the application of war-taught knowledge for the benefit of the world. It will be the same with the atomic bomb principles.

Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous - not just to some people in some circumstances - but to everyone all the time.

The passing of Thomas Alva Edison serves to direct our attention to the multitude of benefactions he bestowed upon all humanity during his many years of fruitful activity. It reminds us of the debt of gratitude we owe him as members of the human race. By his achievements, he laid the foundation for continued and greater development. His persistent efforts and indefatigable spirit multiplied many times the valuable opportunities for man, especially the young man. To each and every young man, Mr. Edison left a legacy of opportunities.

We are willing to spend any reasonable amount of money on education in our organization, because we have a group of men and women in our business who are constantly seeking knowledge, knowing that is the way to make themselves more valuable to the company and, automatically, more valuable to themselves. We are working out a plan that is going to take in everybody in the organization. We are going to have post graduate schools for our men in the field, and post graduate schools for our executives-and many of them.

You have to have your heart in the business and the business in your heart.

He would say over and over again that the company was not merely a business, but "an institution that will go on forever."

Joining a company is an act that calls for absolute loyalty in big matters and little ones.

Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?

The success of every major executive depends on the men under him. Really successful men are pushed up, not pulled up.

We must all take time to do enough thinking to formulate our own conclusions.

You work the first eight hours of each day for survival. Anything after that is an investment.

I have made a good many predictions about the future of our business and I have been wrong every time because I have always underestimated its possibilities.

Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell

Repentance is a grace of God's Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed.

The time who utilizes every minute of every hour becomes a bigger, better being every minute.

We must never feel satisfied.

Your company is your friend. That is my hope and aim and ambition. [Watson's motto at the first CTR conventions]

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

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First Name
Thomas J.
Last Name
Watston, Sr., fully Thomas John Watson, Sr.
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American Founder, CEO and Chairman of International Business Machines (IBM)