Summary of Saving Big Blue

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Saving Big Blue book summary


7 Overall

6 Applicability

6 Innovation

8 Style


Listen, my children, and you shall hear the incredible saga of how IBM nearly died and was revived by Lou Gerstner. Robert Slater tells the tale of IBM’s turnaround after it nearly sank under the weight of institutionalized arrogance and failure to heed advancements in the industry it had dominated. Gerstner broke company tradition, fired employees who believed they had a sinecure, slashed a decade-old bureaucracy, and switched IBM’s focus from products to solutions. This action portrait shows a man smart enough and tough enough to rebuild an empire. The book’s lessons are artfully woven into the fabric of Gerstner’s personal story and IBM’s corporate history. getAbstract recommends this book to any high level executive whose organization needs a revolution or to any businessperson who wants a juicy reminder of what it takes to win the war of independence.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How institutionalized arrogance hurt IBM in the 1980s;
  • How Lou Gerstner turned the company around; and
  • Why solving a customer problem is infinitely more important than selling them a product.

About the Author

Robert Slater has written for Time, Newsweek, and United Press International. He has also written a number of best selling business books.



Institutionalized Arrogance: The Case of IBM
IBM was the Big Blue giant, dominating the computer market from the late 1940s until well into the 1980s. Its corporate culture set it apart in the early days. If you worked for IBM, you were a symbol of excellence, the epitome of a businessman...

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