Posted by: Boopalan Jayaraman | April 6, 2009

Just do it, Watson…

I lack something in me. I just can’t do any wonder, and that was how exactly I thought about myself and spent hell lot of time when I was youngsaid Watson once, referring to himself.


Readers, I am not writing about Watson, assistant of Graham Bell in telephone engineering or about Watson, friend of famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Without having such assumptions, dear ones, please read on. This Watson is no distinct from us.


Watson’s mother could only advise when he feared and cried for he was asked to join his father’s firm. “I can’t do it. I can’t join dad’s business. As you see, I am not as brainy as dad is. Please let me alone!” Watson was an average student in schooling just as many of us were. Before he passed high school examination, six years had passed by. Even this was achieved only after switching three schools. He did no-different in university education. No wonder, his confidence level was at its low and he was much reluctant to join his father’s business fearing that he would flop down.


His father is, again, no different from our fathers. He pushed him as much as he could to make Watson join his business. This made him do the aforementioned cry.


That was the time the Second World War was on and it helped our Watson to temporarily escape the situation. Since he knew flying, he joined US Air force. He continued to be there for another five years, till the end of War. It was then the major turning point of Watson’s normal life occurred. His superior Bradley asked Watson one day, “So, War is all over. What is next? Would you join your father’s firm?


Of a typical Watson, he immediately shook his head and said, “No, I would not. I may join some airways as a flying officer instead. I am not good at business like my father.” Bradley’s face shrunk, “Who said, you are not good at it?” He patiently explained Watson, commendable qualities that he had, popularity that he gained in the army and courage that he had shown during war, “Business is very similar to a war, is it not? Just Do it Watson! You can.” Watson smiled, “Would you say so?J


Watson joined his father’s firm and played a key role in analyzing pros and cons. He keenly watched that the firm was a large producer of punching machines and small calculators. He believed that the future of the firm would largely depend on computing machines and not on the products above. When he rose up to the position of the chairman, he stopped manufacturing those products and set up a team of electronic engineers to design computing machines.


The computing machine had been invented just then. His firm took advantage of this and produced computing machines. Watson did not stop with that. He also believed that the computing machines which were manufactured only for the use of commercial organizations should be manufactured for personal use too. He decided to execute this idea and allocated a budget of huge sum.


Everyone feared of this decision since huge sum was at stake. If it turns down, it would put an end to the firm and Watson too. But Watson was strong in his decision. He did not lose out the confidence. He predicted that the need for personal computing machines would arise in an extraordinary manner. Finally it worked out! To everyone’s surprise, the firm’s revenue got doubled in six years. A person, who lacked self-confidence initially, raised his company to sixth position then in the country later.


SayingI can’t do it …/ it will not work out…’ well before attempting them would be a foolish act. This is the lesson I learnt after I took up the chief position, said Thomas Watson once.


He said that he had reminded himself of what Bradley had told him, whenever he lost confidence. Oh, Didn’t I tell the name of the firm he led? The firm was called International Business Machines. In short, IBM.


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