[SIGCIS-Members] Quote on IT Productivity

James Cortada jwcorta at us.ibm.com
Sun Feb 28 06:30:35 PST 2010

We have all heard variations of a quote that goes something like this, "If
cars had improved as much as computers, you would be able to buy a
Rolls-Royce for $5, etc."  I may have found the original quote all quite by
accident and thought you might want it:

"If we compare the automotive and computer industries over the last 30
years, we find that if there had been similar progress in the auto industry
as there was in the computer industry . . . then the auto industry would
today be able to offer us a Rolls-Royce for $2.50 with an E.P.A. gas rating
of 2 million miles per gallon."

--an IT executive quoted in "Computing for Business Into the 1980s,"
Fortune (June 5, 1978), page 25 (full article pp. 23-86).  If anybody has
an earlier quote, share.


Dr. Jim (James) W. Cortada
IBM Institute for Business Value
2917 Irvington Way
Madison, WI 53713 USA
jwcorta at us.ibm.com
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