What Timeshares Need to Learn from IBM – Part I

Last month, IBM celebrated 100 years in business. Coincidently, their 100-year anniversary is also the year the company will exceed $100 billion in sales.

I am a great believer that there is much to learn from both the success and the failure of others, but perhaps what surprised me most was how much there is specifically for the timeshare industry to learn from the success (of which there has been much) and the failure (of which there has been some) of IBM.

In an interview with Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes Magazine, IBM’s Sam Palmisano shared some insights IBM has discovered during its 100 years of business. They probably apply to all businesses, but they clearly are insights for all of us in the timeshare industry. Here’s some of what Palmisano shared:

  • From its inception, IBM believed that if you really create value, you will be around a long time. Value for your consumer is more enduring than just getting bigger as a company.
  • “The Watsons (Thomas J. Watson, who took over IBM as a three-year-old company and his son Thomas Jr., who together led the company for over 6 decades) believed that every decade or so you had to reinvent the company and drive to the future.”
  • When asked, “How do most companies blow it?” Palmisano replied, “They make it complicated with 15 different variables or 20 different algorithms in 170 countries. That is way too hard to do. You’ll never, in my opinion, get it done that way. If you make it complicated it’s too difficult for everyone to understand it and see their role in it. That’s when you see this thing begin to fall apart.”
  • The Message for Timeshare Developers, Timeshare Sales, and Timeshare Resales

    Timeshare can learn from IBM.

    Whether you are selling technology or timeshares, it is remarkable how much the message is the same: Provide value; change with the needs of your market; and keep your plan and your services simple.

    In tomorrow’s post on The Timeshare Authority, I will be sharing a few other insights from IBM, some I considered to be particularly profound for timeshare, fractional, and vacation ownership companies.