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IBM Gets Innovation.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on July 23, 2008

You won’t find the words “design” or “design thinking” in any of IBM’s smart Stop—Start ads but look at what they pitch and preach.

Stop: Selling What You Have
Start: Selling What They Need

Stop: Thinking Like A Bank
Start: Thinking Like A Customer

That’s it in 20 words or less. Start with understanding your customer/audience, and work to create something of value WITH them and FOR them. The old days of coming up with something new in the lab and then throwing it into the marketplace to see if it floats are over.

Reader Comments

Design thinker

July 23, 2008 10:08 PM

How do you identify the people at IBM who "get" design thinking? Just in case they're hiring. For that matter, how do you identify someone at ANY company that gets design thinking?

Garret Ohm

July 23, 2008 10:24 PM

Agreed, Bruce. It is brilliance.

That logo...that's another story. Welcome to the late 80's!

-Garret Ohm

Bruce Temkin

July 24, 2008 2:13 PM

It's great to see simple, easy to digest advice like this. If your readers like this type of straightforward insight, then they will probably enjoy reading my new mini book called "The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience." It can be downloaded for free on my blog: Customer Experience Matters (

John Manoogian III

July 26, 2008 8:57 AM

Dan Lewis

July 28, 2008 9:56 PM

They are words to live by, good words, succinct thoughts. Does IBM practice what it preaches or are these the thoughts they or their advertising agency want you to hear. I have had dealings with IBM business consultants and I did not find them smart enough to think this way let alone act this way. Talk is cheap, doing is always more complicated.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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