When IBM Nearly Missed the Internet


Jun 7 2021 • 29 mins

In 1994, IBM sponsored the Winter Olympics and held exclusive rights to telecast the games. But Dave Grossman – an engineer at IBM – discovered Sun Microsystems had stolen the live feed and was posting the results on its website. This sparked the creation of a team of innovators that not only convinced IBM's top brass to pay attention to the Internet but influenced a seismic change in everything about IBM as an organization.

In the first episode of season 3, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes us through the story of how the newly-assembled team built a website from scratch in time for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. And how their efforts didn't just prevent IBM from further embarrassment but transformed the entire company, going from one that almost missed the Internet to becoming a pioneer of its innovations, creating a website that would influence how we shop, work, and live online today. Along with Dave Grossman, the computer engineer who left IBM as a senior manager, we hear from John Patrick, IBM's former vice president of internet technology, and Jane Harper, former director of collaborative innovation programs at IBM.

Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on this episode visit https://www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast/when-IBM-nearly-missed-the-internet where you can see IBM's first Olympic website from 1996 in all its low-res glory and check out related teamwork articles.