IBM recruited Jeffrey O'Brien from Fortune to create the story architecture for the THINK Exhibit. After months of reporting, he delivered a 10,000-word essay explaining how system-level progress happens and how technological tools, IBM's chief among them, enable and hasten such advances. When Jon Iwata, IBM's SVP of marketing and communications, read the essay, he said, "This is our big idea. It should be a book!" And so it became one.
Published by IBM Press, Making the World Work Better has three parts. Two other journalists covered IBM's history of technological and social leadership. O'Brien's section explains how IBM has followed a pattern to repeatedly make the world work better. In the wide-ranging tour rich with examples and context, he links an array of monumental achievements, from inventing DRAM and Lasik to creating the technological underpinnings beneath the Social Security Administration, Nasa's Apollo missions, and countless Big Data, analytics, and Smarter Planet initiatives.
The THINK Exhibit premiered in Lincoln Center in 2011 to celebrate IBM's centennial anniversary and now lives in Epcot Center both as a demonstration of IBM's point of view and to inspire the next generation of technologists, dreamers, and THINKers. Making the World Work Better was distributed to every IBM employee and many IBM alumni and placed in a time capsule at the Centennial celebration. The THINK Exhibit and Making the World Work Better were both recipients of several awards.