Friday, August 12, 2011

IBM. Three little letters, one big company. They'll make you an offer you can't refuse.

There’s a lot to admire about IBM, but, they do show they they can always learn from the experts.

In the article there’s a reference to how IBM successfully borrowed business strategy from The Godfather.

In this now-famous story told by prominent tech attorney Gary Reback (and broken in Forbes no less!), Reback talks of how when he was a lawyer for Sun Microsystems in the 1980s IBM came in and claimed Sun infringed seven of its patents. Sun stood up to the IBM team and provided evidence the company did not infringe all seven patents, but perhaps only one.
Then, according to Reback:
An awkward silence ensued. The blue suits did not even confer among themselves. They just sat there, stone-like. Finally, the chief suit responded. "OK," he said, "maybe you don't infringe these seven patents. But we have 10,000 U.S. patents. Do you really want us to go back to Armonk [IBM headquarters in New York] and find seven patents you do infringe? Or do you want to make this easy and just pay us $20 million?"
After a modest bit of negotiation, Sun cut IBM a check, and the blue suits went to the next company on their hit list.
Talk about making an offer you can’t refuse, and a very innovative application of new perspectives on business negotiation tactics.

This could be a new subject for MBA programmes. Advanced Business Negotiation by Tony Soprano

Innovation. Gotta love it.

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