Bargaining with the Devil. When to Negotiate, When to Fight by Robert Mnookin

Bargaining with the Devil. When to Negotiate, When to Fight by Robert Mnookin

Author:Robert Mnookin [Robert Mnookin]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: 2010-01-19T05:00:00+00:00

In May 1989, the final piece fell into place: the Secured Facility was up and running. Of course, its location was a carefully guarded secret. In our rather quiet announcement of this milestone, we just said it was in Japan.

No expense was spared in creating this hermetically sealed chamber. If we and the parties could have put it on the moon, we would have. Instead we located it in Sakura, an obscure town about forty miles outside Tokyo, on the top two floors of an eight-story office building. Inside the building’s sole elevator, you would never know that floors seven and eight even existed. We had the buttons and numbers for those floors removed from the elevator panel. You could only gain access to these floors with an elevator key, and only the facility manager and the guards had them. No one else reached the seventh or eighth floor unless their names were on a list, and even then they had to be personally escorted. There were guards on both floors twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. As far as we knew, no one in Sakura—or even the building—ever knew what was going on in there.

The handful of Fujitsu programmers who worked in the facility were not permitted to bring anything in or out of the inner sanctum—not a cell phone, not a wallet, not a scrap of paper. (Personal items had to be checked in a locker.) They had no access to a phone. Every time they went in or out, their movements were documented. The IBM source code was kept in a locked safe. We used security consultants to design the system, of course, and before the facility opened we hired a different security expert, whose primary client was the CIA, to check things out. He said our facility was more secure than either the Pentagon or the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

For the next seven years the regime operated without a hitch. As an extra safeguard, IBM built its own secured facility in Hampton, New Hampshire, to inspect Fujitsu’s new programs. IBM had the right to bring a claim before the panel if it found evidence that Fujitsu was breaking the rules—and I assure you, IBM looked. But it never brought a claim.


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