IBM Seeks To Solve World’s Pressing Problems

Can we pause a minute to reflect on the IBM brand? What’s your perception of this important company?
You’d have lots of company if you said, “conservative,” “entrenched,” or “no longer relevant.” You’d also be way off mark.
Business Week is offering an optimism-filled story about IBM and its plans to capitalize on the worldwide need for infrastructure upgrades.
It’s a timely and inspiring story about American ingenuity.
In the face of a meltdown, Sam Palmisano, CEO of IBM says, “you can retrench, pull in your horns, protect the balance sheet, and preserve cash. Or you can realize that this is about humanity screaming for change.”

What kind of change? The planet is buckling under the weight of snarled traffic, wasted energy, toxic emissions, poor distribution of food and water, and insufficient health care.
Palmisano thinks all those dilemmas are connected in one important way: They’re the result of dumb underlying networks. Traffic bogs down because of overwhelming demand at peak hours. Health care suffers from the lack of a universal database of symptoms and diagnoses. Add intelligence to the networks, and the problems will go away.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.