A Little Ross Perot Story On His Death

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Really not sure how accurate this is. It’s a story that has been rolling around the computing industry for decades so I pass it on with that caveat. I think I have indeed seen that the computer system in the tale was revised down to something a little more suitable but that’s just me recalling someone, not actual proof.

Perot became IBM’s top computer salesman, once, he claimed, fulfilling his annual sales quota in less than three weeks. But his ideas for expanding into software and technical support were ignored, so he left in 1962 to set up his own data processing company, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), with $1,000 of savings from his wife’s teaching job (although he was always an over-enthusiastic curator of his own mythology).

So the story goes. Email – no, not internet stuff, just email within organisations – started in the early 60s. A US university wanted an email system. Perot sold them an IBM. He sold them the top, top of the line model, vastly overspecced for their email needs. The commission on which is what was used to set up EDS. And Perot was long gone from IBM by the time that overspec was realised and the system downgraded to something more appropriate.

I do not vouch for the truth of this story.

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