The inspiration for some of the world’s most important inventions sometimes comes from unlikely places. Part of my personal motivation for working on the first PC was to find a better way to play Pac-Man. Back in 1980, I was one of the dozen engineers picked to develop the IBM Personal Computer in less than a year. We worked around the clock on the project, including some game-playing. I hold three of the original nine PC patents.
Our team of young engineers had no idea that we were creating a new multi-billion dollar industry, which would ultimately transform the way people worked and lived. To us the assignment was to build IBM’s first Personal Computer using off-the-shelf parts on a very short deadline.
Fast forward 30 years, and we’re marking the culmination of 100 years of innovation at IBMwith the debut of Watson, a computing system with the same transformational potential as the first PC. I think it will be the next thing since the PC to radically change how we work and live.