Gopher-preneur book of the month, Feb '06
The Maverick and His Machine: Thomas Watson, Sr. and the Making of IBM
by Kevin Maney
Thomas Watson Sr., took over the small Computer-Tabulating-Recording (C-T-R) Company in 1914 and fashioned it into the giant corporation we know today as International Business Machines (IBM). Watson had come to prominence for his work at National Cash Register (NCR), but owing to his involvement in a federal antitrust case, was forced out of his job. This might have destroyed a lesser man, but not Watson, who quickly moved on to C-T-T, an ailing hodgepodge the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Later Watson would sell off two parts of the business and focus only on the comouter tabulating machines. Which late became known as I.B.M.
A lifelong salesman, Watson always paid close attention to his company's customers, but he also felt that employees were equally important, offering high wages and good benefits. Although his management style was often regarded as imperious, he is credited with founding IBM's famous corporate culture, which enabled the company to succeed.
If you are interested in learning how IBM was formed or want to know more about it's leader Thomas Watson, please read this book.