In 1998 there was no bigger interview in tech than Lou Gerstner. Even before Gerstner was officially named IBM CEO, the race to score the first sit-down interview with him was underway. And throughout Gerstner's first year, InformationWeek's Brian Gillooly and the late Bruce Caldwell campaigned Gerstner's handlers to convince them that InformationWeek was the right venue when he was ready to talk with the press. They succeeded. On the day of the big interview, Brian recalls having to head to a restroom at IBM headquarters to compose himself. The resulting article focused on IBM's new push into "E-business" and the billions of dollars and tens of thousands of employees it was shifting to deliver on that hardware, software and services strategy. The editors of InformationWeek's three main competitors, meanwhile, wrote a joint letter to IBM protesting its "unfair" decision to grant us the exclusive. They apparently didn't understand that such interviews are earned, not bestowed.