As per many of the comments, the biggest killer of innovation and culture has been putting the shareholders above all others. Ideally, customers and employees should be regarded higher and then the profits for the shareholders will naturally fall into place. By taking a shareholder centric approach, HP (as well as many other companies) have alienated the consumers and the employees that made them great in the first place. Bleeding a company to appease the shareholders is never a good long term strategy, yet it happens all the time to achieve short term gains that look good on paper for the current quarter only.
On another note, this past weekend I was still see tv commercials for the new HP tablet. I wonder if the marketting department got the memo that the tablets were cancelled?
You wrote: The lowest cost producer wins. I do not agree at all. Apple makes lots of products that are far more expensive than the regular stuff from Taiwan or Korea. They do very well. In my humble opinion it is the total of the product that makes the company. As mentioned here the software from HP is not the best.... In fact this is killing for your product and brand name. I think THIS is one of the main reasons why HP experiences a decline in PC + printer sales, nothing else.
I think that the new CEO wanted to be the CEO of IBM and since I could not he is using HP to be like IBM.
Let's be honest, company do not have any moral responsibility the only think they see are dollars but they wont us to defend their profits.
Do you remember when the US stopped the Japanese from using the TRON OS to support MS?
They drink the egg killing the chicken that will make more eggs.
To them is not important because they will find somebody that has another egg.
I am not a Palm expert, but I have to wonder if the Palm wasn't more a niche professional product than a basis for the consumer line that HP was after. Perhaps it is the consumer vs. professional conflict that has made life difficult for the company. I still have my HP15C, a great professional product. I've used an HP4192 impedance analyzer, another great product. And I remember when HP came out with their first high brightness amber LED. I demonstrated it to a technician who then got upset with me because he was seeing spots in his eyes for awhile! Somehow the initial engineering seed sprung into a tree with so many incredible branches, possibly because engineers were allowed to do what they do best--tackle on the oncoming problems and follow the solutions to where they lead. There is an art to the science. Does anyone else remember the huge hardbound optoelectronic textbook that HP published on LED and optocoupler technology, I believe in the late 1980's? I had a desk copy of it at the time. What a book. When you looked through it, you realized the wealth of talent and creativity that HP had. And you fully trusted their LED specsmanship, because they had written the book!
What happened? Perhaps maintaining the value of the stock became more important than harnessing the creative engineering talents of the employees.
I hope Hp will not end-up like Westinghouse Electric.
If Hp knows the software business why buy a software company?
Do you remember when ATT got NRC, an execellent company for POS devices. They destroyed it, the manager sent by ATT imposed the ATT cultural attitude in the businesses and in one year they lost almost all the customers.
An NCR manager that I new was told by one of their customer: " if I wanted to deal with ATT I would have gone to them from the beginning".
The HP brass will destroy any acquired company because they think to know better.
Also do you remember the ATT acquisition of Comcast?
Thanks for this article. The PALM was a good idea at first; the problem, I believe is that HP marketing team did a bad job selling the product to the public. I think that the HP management team needs to resign. HP is a great company, but they need a new management team with fresh and creative ideas.
Look at this in the light of history. HP was T&M. Their whole approach was finding ways to do things both better and often more cost effectively. They found computers (first minis, then desktops, etc.) were valuable engineering tools. Then they needed pen plotters, then ink-jet, then laser. It was all in support of their core business. The semiconductor division was also created to support there core business (I still own an HP-21 calculator-they made both the processor and the LED display in house).
The world beat a path to their door for the computer products and the semiconductor products until they found that they were going in too many directions for a single management (smart observation at least). They also discovered that their brand recognition was most valuable in the consumer end, so they renamed the T&M and semiconductor divisions when the spun them off.
So now they are a consumer company. They now have razor thin margins to deal with, and a fickle public, not to metion even more fickle stock holders. Maybe they didn't see it coming. But it's not a good place to be. Thankfully they left Agilent and Avago to us, even if by different names. They probably won't do as well this time, but then most of us don't really need them as a PC manufacturer or mobility manufacturer. The next question is whether we need them as a software and services company, either?
Let's see how long that lasts. Until this CEO is booted out the door and the next one decides that business services are not his thing and kills the product they just acquired?
The way they have been fluttering from one thing to the next does not inspire any confidence.
You can see where they are coming from although I must admit I am sad to see HP leaving the PC/phone/tablet market. Profit margins in their SW lines are much higher so they want to focus on them. I assume they will keep their server HW business though.
Concentrating on business services is definitely the way whey are going as they have just agreed to buy UK software firm Autonomy for ~US$12bn. Autonomy develops enterprise knowledge management SW.