I pointed out the other day that IBM's stock outperformed Google's over the past 4 year period. There are many things we can learn from the granddaddy of all technology companies. In its 130 year history, IBM has had more "eras" than most tech companies have had years. In fact, IBM tangled with the Justice Department before Bill Gates was even born.
The one thing that has always impressed me about IBM is how they seem to be playing on an entirely different level than anyone else. Real companies count on IBM to give them real solutions to real business problems. Every time I find myself in a conversation with a senior exec at IBM I am reminded that they have managed to continue to operate at this level regardless of the headlines of the day.
Somehow I just don't see IBM burning R and D budget on a Twitter clone.
Curiously, IBM also does a great job with its ads. They come up with fun and memorable ways to make the point that they are serious about business. Here is my favorite one: which is probably 10 years old now but it still resonates.