Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) October 9, 2007
In 1957 Control Data Corporation was founded in Minneapolis and in less than 14 years grew to become one of the world's leading computer companies with revenues topping $1 billion and eventually more than $5 billion. A Celebration of The Legacy of Control Data Corporation will take place on Friday, October 12, 2007 at the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN). This day-long event will feature seminars that journey through how Control Data's supercomputers and its management philosophy impacted and still influence the world today. In addition, a rarely seen exhibit of computer artifacts will be on display. The public is invited to attend this free event. Almost seven hundred people have already pre-registered. To learn more about the event visit: http://www.mspres.com/ControlData50YearCelebration.
An investment in Control Data of $10,000 in 1957 would realize a return of $6.3 million by 1968. In the words of founder William C. Norris, "We opened the doors of Control Data in 1957 in the face of what some might have seen as insurmountable odds. We were up against entrenched competitors with vastly superior resources. [Yet] we succeeded to a remarkable degree."
Indeed that degree of success was such that in 1963, IBM's chairman said that he failed to understand how IBM lost their leadership position in supercomputer technology to CDC, "...a company with 34 people, including the janitor."
By the 1970s when "green" was still only a color Control Data was anticipating today's focus on alternative energy sources. Its world distribution center in St. Paul used solar power. It backed an innovative small company, Jacob's Wind Energy, which created wind farms from Hawaii to the Caribbean Islands, including some of the earliest wind farms in California. It partnered with its major electric utility company to find innovative ways to cut power consumption, especially at peak periods.
According to CDC's former CEO, Robert M. Price, "Control Data was the Apple Computer of its time; innovation was at the core of Control Data's DNA. There were more than 100 spin off and other derivative companies ranging from Arbitron, which measures radio audiences, to Digital Biometrics, which builds digital fingerprinting equipment. Despite the extreme turbulence in the social, political and economic environments of the late 1960s and 1970s, Control Data achieved a greatness few companies ever realize."
About the event:
Starting with registration at 11:30 am on Friday, October 12, the event will offer four free seminars open to the public that will highlight Control Data's legacy, what the legacy means in today's world and what it portends for the future:
-Innovation in Products and Services -- A panel of experts will be moderated by Charles T. Casale, an early member of the legendary Seymour Cray's design teams. The panel will explore innovations that produced high performance in computers, peripherals and data communication networks. It will also discuss the innovations that made the high performance of these devices available on a service basis to individuals who otherwise had no access to such capability.
-Innovation in Management Practices -- Innovation is rooted in employees who believe: "What I think and do matters;" "I can make a difference!" This panel, moderated by James R. Morris, will focus on how corporate policy and management practices produced a utopia of innovation, not just in product innovation, but also in employee health and productivity.
-Nurturing Innovation through Spin-Offs and Small Business Formation -- At the core of Control Data's business belief was that entrepreneurs are the keystone of economic vitality. This belief was given lasting form via the William C. Norris Institute that is dedicated to that purpose. Mike P. Moore, the current Director of the William C. Norris Institute, will lead a panel of entrepreneurs who trace their successes back to Control Data.
-An Innovative Role in Industry and Society -- Control Data launched countless pioneering projects to develop government-business partnerships. They combined the expertise of business with the leadership and resources of government to manage complex projects at local, state, national and international levels. Albert Eisele will moderate this panel, which includes Chuck Denny, former CEO of ADC Telecommunications, George Latimer, dynamic former mayor of St. Paul; David Gardner, a leading computer industry journalist who covered CDC; and Chris Puto, dean of the University of St. Thomas Business College.
-About the Exhibits: The exhibits on display will include hardware such as the ETA-10, Control Data's last supercomputer, and equipment showing the evolution of computer data storage. There will also be documents representative of Control Data's history, starting with the original prospectus for 600,000 shares at $1 per share, plus video of individual innovators and other artifacts from Control Data's history.
Keynote Speaker and Dinner:
US Senator Norm Coleman, who as St. Paul's Mayor received the U.S. Conference of Mayors' highest award for public-private partnership, will be the dinner speaker. His theme will be innovation and the importance of public-private partnerships.
Admission to the dinner is separate from the seminars and costs $50 per person (includes a DVD of the event) before September 17, or $65 per person September 18 through the October 5th cut off. Information for purchasing dinner tickets can be found on the website: http://www.mspres.com/ControlData50YearCelebration.