The Olympics always bring a strong sense of competition as countries vie for top honors, fueled with nationalism and pure athletic pride on the line. In every sport there is almost always one competitor out in front, willing to wear a target on her/his back, doing the extra training and utilizing his/her resources more effectively when the challenge arises. We admire their grace, strength and success. We desire their quality.
Without launching into a philosophical discussion on quality, I do want to tie the above premise into an IT model: The end result of doing the right work, spending the extra time to plan and design, and implementing the right features will be perceived as a high quality solution.
What I like the most about working at IBM is that we always set the bar high. Sometimes too high - we may set out to create something too vast, too complex with too many variables. While this may not provide us with the quickest or cheapest solution, over time and with the right ingredients, we generally come out with something ground breaking and pack-leading. Quarter after quarter, year after year, decades on, our products tend to shape the market. Other technologies that did not have the right 'stuff', even internal projects which were explored but do not pan out for public consumption, fall by the side and take silver and bronze. With IBM gold is in our blood - just like the Olympic competitor keen to achieve success, our focus on quality and exceeding customer expectations will always lead us to delivering the right products and solutions.
Setting the bar high means that sometimes you will fail to hit your mark, but just like the Olympic athlete on center stage for all the world to see, you would prefer to give it your best with the highest challenge on the line than to sit on the sideline and settle for less.