Palmisano traces how, beginning in the 1960's IBM adopted global standards for computing platforms beginning with its S/360 mainframe. This allowed for projects to be segmented and performed globally. The unbundling of software from hardware further cemented the ability for the company to break work into discreet tasks that could be tackled across the globe.
This technical shift combined with the operational shift of "lower[ing] our center of gravity — away from headquarters, closer to markets and customers" allowed IBM, in Palmisano's view, to truly go global.
As I think about the book in light of BuzzFeed's international expansion, Palmisano's line in his recent CNBC op-ed "You need to be globally consistent but locally relevant" resonates completely.
Read MoreA new model for going global: Ex-IBM CEO Sam Palmisano
A core part of BuzzFeed is capturing and covering culture. We've been vigilant about that as we've expanded into new markets (like BuzzFeed UK and BuzzFeed Australia) and always started with editorial talent that understands the market. We need to be locally relevant, but we also consistently deploy the BuzzFeed technology stack and best practices. This line perfectly fits how we at BuzzFeed think about being a globally-integrated enterprise.
The overarching thesis of the book is that the most effective companies use a mix of technology and management to operate truly globally. Units and tasks flow freely across the globe in ways that allow for the best service of employees and customers.