JOINED THE CO. IN 1962. CAME FROM WISCONSIN WHERE GOOD JOBS WERE HARD TO FIND. THOUGHT I WAS IN HEAVEN WHEN I LANDED AT HP. BILL AND DAVE(sometimes called pappy) WERE TWO OF THE FINEST GENTLEMEN IN THE INDUSTRIAL WORLD. THEY WERE AVAILABLE TO ANY EMPLOYEE WHO MAY HAVE THOUGHT THEY HAD A PROBLEM THAT COULD ONLY BE SOLVED BY DIRECTLY MEETING THEM FACE TO FACE. THEIR OFFICES WERE ALWAYS OPEN TO ALL EMPLOYEES. I AM NOW 80 YEARS OLD, RETIRED AFTER 30 YEARS AND LOOK BACK WITH GREAT SATISFACTION AT THE TIME I WAS HONORED TO BE WITH SUCH A WONDERFUL ORGANIZATION.
I loved "The Soul of a New Machine". I haven't read "Tough Choices" by Carly Fiorina and at the moment I have so many things on my "reading list" that I won;t get to thsi for ages.
If you read the "Bill and Dave" book, it would be great if you could contrast the two perspectives for us.
Interesting. Although english is not my first language, i've managed to go through 'The Soul of a New Machine' and it really got me hooked. I need to get my hands on this one too. It would be interesting to confront what it says abouth ' disastrous years under Carly Fiorina' with the 'Tough Choices. Memoir' by... Carly Fiorina.
HP test equipment was always of the most amazing quality. Just shows what can be achieved without bean counters around. Have a look at
About a guy who retrieved a wet old HP counter of 1963 vintage from a dumpster and dried it out and it just worked. 50 MHz, all transistors, no ICs, nixie display, and could go up to 3 GHz (in 1963!) with plugins. I used to swear by the old HP RPL calculators too. Somehow "Agilent" doesn't have the same ring to it, though their equipment is also good gear.
I must read this book, sounds like a great read, thanks Max.
We lionize these gents and for good reason, but I have to wonder how their management style would have differed in today's environment--hit the quarterly numbers for Wall Street now. That's all that matters.
Something tells me they probably would have taken HP private again had that environment stifled them.
Many will the remember the "Carl & Jerry" series by John T. Frye in Popular Electronics magazine starting in 1954. Two fictional high school kids experimenting and constructing electronic circuits in their garage workshop and lab, similar to Bill's and Daves's beginnings. I wonder if by any chance Bill and Dave unknowingly inspired the Carl & Jerry stories.