using star salespeople to make the sale means it doesn't matter how good the product is
I remember getting a phone message back prior to Y2K from some gravely voiced American going on about how IBM was an industry leader in remuneration.
I thought to myself, what, no company boasts to programmers about being an "industry leader in remuneration".
I was still mystified as the caller started going on about "selling what was on the truck".
So I figured I inherited a phone number from an IBM sales guy and was getting that week's routine sales group motivation message from Sam Palmisano.
The IBM way, using 'star' salespeople to make the sale means it doesn't matter how good or how good a fit to clients needs the product is, because the star salesperson can sell anything.
That is how it is. Programmers are an interchangeable commodity. Engineers are an interchangeable commodity. One programmer/engineer is as good as another, so why not get the cheapest.
So IBM has become a bunch of highly paid 'star' sales people running around trying to sell products made by interchangeable commodities.
If paying sales people a lot of money and promoting them to head companies was the magic path to success IBM would still be a Top 10 worldwide company.
Sadly for IBM what matters today is what is in the product, what the product can do -- how good is the product and how good a fit is it to client needs.
in other words, not whether the product was sold by star salespeople but rather was the product designed by star engineers and star programmers.
IBM would have better luck with commodity salespeople and star engineers and star programmers.