The Butterfly: From A Little Girl's Building Blocks

In the old days, the Butterfly might never have flown. But the ThinkPad 701C laptop PC, code-named Butterfly, became the first on-time product from the IBM PC Co. in years--and a badly needed smash hit. The breakthrough that inspired its name: a full-size keyboard that neatly tucks inside the compact, 41/2-pound unit. Says Edward R. Anderson, chief executive officer of CompuCom Systems Inc., which runs a chain of PC stores: "It's the most exciting thing I've seen since the Mac." And the fact that it metamorphosed so smoothly from engineering sketch to finished product is the surest sign yet that IBM can indeed fix its personal-computer problems.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.