Summary of Making the World Work Better

The Ideas that Shaped a Century and a Company

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Making the World Work Better book summary
IBM helped shape the last century and will influence the next.


8 Overall

6 Importance

7 Innovation

8 Style


Most corporate biographies read like carefully crafted public relations pieces, containing the self-congratulatory prose found in any annual report. In a refreshing departure, journalists Kevin Maney, Steve Hamm and Jeffrey M. O’Brien offer a thoughtful, well-researched and intelligent history of IBM. In telling IBM’s story, the authors trace the history of technology over the last century, explore IBM’s influence and how it changed industry and society. They delve into IBM’s story from its founding father Thomas Watson Sr. and its participation in technology development, to today’s modern international corporation. Even though IBM sponsored and published its own epic tale, getAbstract recommends it to anyone interested in computer technology or business history.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What impact IBM had on the growth of technology,
  • How technology evolved and affected different segments of society, and
  • What role IBM plays in defining the role of the modern international corporation.


The Birth of IBM
IBM began in 1911 when three small technology companies merged to form the “Computing-Tabulating-Recording-Company” (CTR). In 1924, CEO Thomas Watson Sr. changed the firm’s name to International Business Machines (IBM). Historians view IBM’s relationship to the emergence...
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About the Authors

Kevin Maney reported for USA Today for two decades and is the author of The Maverick and His Machine. Steve Hamm wrote for BusinessWeek for 20 years before joining IBM’s Corporate Communications. Editor and journalist Jeffrey M. O’Brien worked at Fortune and Wired.

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