1890 Herman Hollerith invents the punch card tabulating machine to help with US Census, finishes Census tabulations 5 years faster than manual.
(Soon after?) Hollerith leaves Census Office to form Tabulating Machines Corporation (TMC), sells tabulating machines to businesses, but there is no market, customers are relatively happy with people-paper-pencil, machines are expensive, difficult to use, require upkeep. Machines are fast and accurate.
Leading up to 1911 - patent expires, new competitors enter market, US government drops TMC contract due to high cost
1911 TMC sold, merged with two other companies to form CTR
1914 CTR still small and unprofitable, hires new CEO Thomas Watson from National Cash Register Company. Watson simplifies and modularizes machines, offers on-site maintenance, training, management, and shifts to leasing model (lowers CapEx, prevents second-hand market, eases upgrades)
1920 CTR revenues 3x
1924 CTR has 85% share of tabulating machine market, changes name to International Business Machines
1952 Remington Rand delivers UNIVAC (first electronic computer?) to US Census Bureau; sells 3 total systems that year