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《经济学人》:百年IBM:时间的考验

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IBM's centenary
百年IBM

The test of time
时间的考验

Which of today’s technology giants might still be standing tall a century after their founding?
今天的科技巨头,哪一个也能在它成立后仍续领风骚一百年?

Jun 9th 2011 | from the print edition

IT IS not, by any means, the world’s oldest company. There are Japanese hotels dating back to the 8th century, German breweries that hail from the 11th and an Italian bank with roots in the 15th. What is unusual about IBM, which celebrates its 100th birthday next week, is that it has been so successful for so long in the fast-moving field of technology. How has it done it?
它绝对不是是世界上历史最悠久的公司。日本酒店可追溯到8世纪,德国啤酒厂的诞生于11世纪,而意大利银行起源于15世纪。下周庆祝它的100岁生日的IBM公司与众不同的是,它长久以来在日新月异的技术领域的已经获得如此成功。 它是怎样做到的呢?

IBM’s secret is that it is built around an idea that transcends any particular product or technology. Its strategy is to package technology for use by businesses. At first this meant making punch-card tabulators, but IBM moved on to magnetic-tape systems, mainframes, PCs, and most recently services and consulting. Building a company around an idea, rather than a specific technology, makes it easier to adapt when industry “platform shifts” occur (see article).
IBM公司的秘诀在于它围绕着“超越任何具体产品和技术”的宗旨。它的战略就是打包技术供企业使用。起初,它那战略意味着制造卡片穿孔机,但IBM(最后)转向磁带系统、大型电脑、个人电脑、以及最近的咨询与服务。公司围绕着这宗旨,而不是具体的技术,这样使它更容易地适应产业“平台转变”。

True, IBM’s longevity is also due, in part, to dumb luck. It almost came unstuck early on because its bosses were hesitant to abandon punch cards. And it had a near-death experience in 1993 before Lou Gerstner realised that the best way to package technology for use by businesses was to focus on services. An elegant organising idea is no use if a company cannot come up with good products or services, or if it has clueless bosses. But on the basis of this simple formula—that a company should focus on an idea, rather than a technology—which of today’s young tech giants look best placed to live to 100?
的确,IBM的长寿也可部分地归因于得来全不费工夫的好运气。在早期,它差不多就要倒闭,因为它的老板在放弃卡片穿孔机事宜上犹疑不决。而它在1993年一度濒临倒闭,直到郭士纳(Lou Gerstner)意识到打包技术供企业使用的最好的方法是把重点放在服务上。一流的组织宗旨是没有用的,如果公司不能把它转化为好的产品或服务,或者如果公司老板无能的话。但是基于这简单的准则——一个公司应该专注于某一个想法,而不是某一种技术——而今的年轻科技巨头中,哪一个看起来最像能活到100?

重点单词   查看全部解释    
jury ['dʒuəri]

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n. 陪审团,评委会
adj. 临时用的

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elegant ['eligənt]

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adj. 优雅的,精美的,俊美的

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adapt [ə'dæpt]

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vt. 使适应,改编
vi. 适应,适合

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storage ['stɔridʒ]

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n. 贮藏,存储,保管,保管费,仓库,[计]存储器

 
hesitant ['hezitənt]

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adj. 迟疑的,犹豫不定的

 
formula ['fɔ:mjulə]

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n. 公式,配方,规则;代乳品
adj. (赛

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unusual [ʌn'ju:ʒuəl]

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adj. 不平常的,异常的

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corporate ['kɔ:pərit]

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adj. 社团的,法人的,共同的,全体的

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abandon [ə'bændən]

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v. 放弃,遗弃,沉溺
n. 放纵

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motto ['mɔtəu]

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n. 座右铭,箴言

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