Mike Bloomberg on Technology
Mayor of New York City (Independent)
13 years after he began at Salomon, Bloomberg was effectively demoted, transferred off the trading floor to the "information services" department, Tech Support. Bloomberg found himself literally isolated from the action.
Some Salomon traders expected Bloomberg to walk. He says he never considered resignation; he was a loyal Salomon man no matter what. So he stayed, and if the demotion was a blow it nonetheless turned into another of those Bloomberg strokes of good fortune.
The computer age was dawning. Few on Wall Street realized the transformations the machine would bring. But Bloomberg had an early insight. He understood that technology was going to make trading easier and faster, that with computers every trader's information would be more accurate, more timely. Though no one could know it then, Bloomberg had devised a prototype of the computer that would make him a mogul.
In 1981 the Philbro Corporation, a publicly-held commodities trading firm, acquired Salomon Brothers. Bloomberg was fired. Bloomberg used his $10 million in going-away money to start his own business, developing a unique computer terminal that assembles and digests financial information. The splashily handsome desktop became the machine that ate Wall Street.
Innovative Market Systems, as the company was called at first, began with 4 people and grew to 10,500 people working in 63 countries by 2008. "The Bloomberg," as it quickly became known, runs new stories produced by 2,300 journalists and editors working in 140 bureaus around the world. It can also be mined for other information, including relevant legal decisions, mounds of financial records and even celebrity gossip.
At the same time, we’ll expand its functions to serve all of City government--even the more mundane things that influence our quality of life.
Let's not forget the business reason to have bookstores globally displaying our logo. Name recognition improves access for our salespeople. Building a widely recognized brand and a favorable image in consumers' minds takes decades and costs zillions. Every bit of publicity helps; you never know which imprint makes the difference. With radio, television, Internet access, and magazines competing for the public's attention, the old adage, "As long as they spell your name right," applies more than ever.
Another thought was more prophylactic. If we don't, someone else will. Having a rogue writer out there taking journalistic liberties to commercialize the truth is dangerous. I'd just as soon get in our best shot first.
In the end, though, there was only one compelling reason to go ahead. I wanted to say something.
|Other big-city mayors on Technology:||Mike Bloomberg on other issues:|
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)