Monday, June 1, 2009

Joel commenting about the author

In response to another request, Joel Birnbaum filed some interesting words about the book, and about Chuck House, one of the two authors:

"When I came to HP as a rare outsider hired into a high position, many people advised me to look up Chuck as someone who really understood the soul of the company. He was famous in HP for his wit, his creativity, and his willingness to speak out against things that he thought short-sighted or self-serving. I found that he more than deserved his reputation

"When he noticed that much had been written about the history and influence of HP during the Hewlett and Packard era, and still more about Carly Fiorina and her successor, but almost nothing about the 20 odd years in-between, he decided that this transformative period (HP went from a test and measurement company to the world’s largest printer manufacturer and the second largest computer company in that period) needed to be documented accurately. His soon to be published book, for which I was interviewed extensively, is likely to find wide acceptance and is a marvel of careful research and writing.

"Chuck is a witty, daring and very effective speaker, and during our time together in HP he lent his name and his energy to many causes that resulted in dramatic improvements in the infrastructure and internal toolsets, not always with the prior approval of upper management. HP was eventually proud of these sometimes irreverent accomplishments, and many found their way into the literature and are in wide use in the industry today

"For all of his career, Chuck’s signature style has been his refusal to accept the status quo for purely historical reasons, and to think creatively and deeply about a problem or opportunity and then, often with recruited partners, to seek a novel solution.

"Chuck’s style, while often flamboyant to attract attention to his causes, is inherently a modest one


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