There is a great hue and cry that IBM was not on the recent Forbes list of top 100 US innovators. eWeek led the protest among IT publications – citing the treasure trove of patents, the great inventions of a decade ago, and the promise of Watson and other new patents. And that is the crux of the problem as illustrated at the end of darryl Taft’sstory – IBM is no longer an innovator bringing novel IT and business ideas to market themselves; but rather a Patent Troll.
So if you believe innovation is the combination of invention and bringing those ideas to market in a compelling fashion, then IBM has been out of the innovation business since the Lou Gerstner years. In fact, IBM is symptomatic of big business in the US: no longer willing to take risk like Apple, eSolar, Google, Salesforce by innovating through creating new business operations, doing the manufacturing and creating US jobs; but rather getting in on the safe ROIs usually on the services side only. And as for its patent trove – see what is happening in that arena. Finally, see why even Watson is a big disappointment. When more than 50% of your revenues come from services and you followed or missed having products in the Web 2.0, Cloud, and Mobile revolutions – there is no need to say anything more.