Saturday, October 24, 2009

someone must be buying

Wow... today's metrics just got better and better. I'm going to record this for posterity; lightning never strikes twice in the same place, they say.

First, it is probably key to note that George Anders (who wrote Perfect Enough in 2003 about HP, Carly and the proxy battle over buying Compaq) penned a very positive review for Two responders promptly said, "Boy, the authors must have left a LONG TIME AGO; it surely isn't like that now".

But, here's the Barnes and Noble web-metrics at 3:37pm on Saturday, October 24.

Barnes/Noble since noon has the book on "pre-available" $18.70 heavy discount price, and it is number 337 on their list at 3:37pm; it was 360 at 1:30pm, 846 at 11am, 983 at 10am, and 183,883 at 8am. Glad they woke up...

Amazon, at $23.10 for members, has it at 3,030 at 3:37pm, down from 5,184 at 1:30pm, and 8,863 at 11am. Now it makes the Business Biography and History category as #24, 6 on the Hot New Release; for Computer Profiles, it is #16, and 3rd on the Hot New Releases; for Manager's Guides for Computing, it is #3, and #2 on the Hot New Releases.

Hard to get much better... THRILLED out here in the back forty.

ya luv metrics when they're good

At 11:10am on Saturday October 24, 2009 (need to record this, it may be an alltime high),

Amazon listed the following:

Popularity among all books: 8,863

Popularity, Company Profiles: 32
Hot new releases in this category 7

Popularity, Managers Guides to Computing 13
Hot new releases in this category 3

Barnes and Noble listed us as: 138,883 at 11:00am
and 983 at 11:38am

Friday, October 23, 2009

Peter Burrows interview

Peter Burrows is probably the most astute journalist covering HP; certainly he has "time and grade", having covered them closely for a decade. His book Backfire is still selling, seven years after the events that it covers, and his periodic insights into the HP role and position in the scheme of things for Business Week are among the most trenchant of anything available.

So it was with great anticipation that I met him for lunch today. Guess what? He has a different opinion on a half a dozen great topics, so we had a lot of fun gabbing. My guess is that the book will engender a lot of gabbing, and not a little "what were they smoking?" reaction. Which could be good for public debates, or lively chat rooms, or even interactive blogs.

What do we differ on? Well, for starters, the role that Carly played, the forward prospects for Hurd's leadership, the relative merits of Platt's strategy and people selections, and John Young's contribution. He didn't know much about Ely; respects Hewlett's legacy enormously. I can't wait for the feedback and interaction to begin

The book stared back at me

It is on the shelves! Or at least one copy is on one shelf, at the Stanford Bookstore. Heady to see your name and your work, displayed on the top row, the cover facing out. Emotional thrill indeed! They've sold seven already; three left in stock.

My ten free copies went in a flash, can't even remember who to... Well, lessee, several who helped mightily, including Don Hammond, Bob Grimm, Al Bagley and Paul Ely. Several who are working with the material, including Peter Burrows (Biz Week), John Hollar (Computer History Museum), and Gardner Hendrie (CHM also). A couple of Media X clients... and, oh yes, Craig Barrett, re the inclusion about the Glenn Commission and his advocacy of STEM issues.

John Minck got one for being a reviewer, as did Cort Van Rensselaer (Cort actually hasn't gotten his yet), and Bruce Abell. John promptly sent a note that Footnote 5 in Chapter 2 is wrong. There are only 1,127 footnotes in the book, hard to get them all taken care of cleanly.

Heady stuff...

Monday, October 12, 2009

AT&T -- and the new order

I dropped my Motorola Razr 3G last Thursday. Broke the LCD seal, pretty hard to read it. Jenny said, "let's go get you a new phone". I have an i-Phone, but the sound isn't so hot. I think if the title says "PHONE" it means that it isn't a good one. True, it is fabulous for all those apps, and it has great finger spreading graphics, and a million wonderful reasons to love it, but the phone quality sucks.

Now, I had bought the Razr for a Motorola client meeting in April 2007; it pleased the visitors, who subsequently invited me (and 41 others) to Schaumberg, IL for a Research Advisory Council meeting the first week of September. The i-Phone, you may recall, came out in July that year.

So, when I got to the meeting, I asked at dinner "why didn't you guys invent the i-Phone? Aren't you worried?" Their quick answer: "We did invent this, and we're selling it in China; have been for eighteen months. But it is hard to work with Verizon and AT&T, etc." But the clincher was when they said, "they predict selling one million this year; we sell one million a week".

The next day, I asked the group -- 36 of the 42 raised an i-Phone in the air, six weeks after it came out. And we suggested as a group that M look at Twitter. The answer: doesn't do much.

At the AT&T store last week, there were two Motorola phones on display, amid nearly a hundred from other vendors. Our associate told us that the i-phone accounted for 50% of the store's 2,000 phones sold in September, and RIM Blackberrys were another 24%. Motorola phones were 0.1%. Quite a lesson in broken strategy.

Chance to chat at the Cupertino Rotary

Jagi Shahani invited me down for a luncheon meeting last week, in the Cupertino civic center, with about 100 Rotarians. Good lunch, great chance to chat about "the old HP". Orrin Mahoney was one of a number of HPites in the audience; he is today mayor of Cupertino, up for re-election. We had fun, discussing whether and to what degree the HP Way had morphed.

Most of the audience was quite surprised, though, to learn the relative revenue for HP, IBM and Dell, not to mention Boeing, AT&T, GE, Intel, and Microsoft

Next stop? Kepler's on November 11. See you there?

Holding a copy "FINALLY"

A mere twenty-two months after 'completion', I got to hold a copy of the book, The HP Phenomenon. And, of course, I 'googled' it to find out that the release date for sale is now October 19 (THIS YEAR). What surprised me was to find out that the HP Phenomenon has become an incredibly popular topic of late... thanks to J.K.Rowling.

How were we to know that when the author of all of those popular Harry Potter books wrote her last book (supposedly) that the series would become titled "HP Phenomenon"? Ah well, fame in a curious way.

Go check the reviews at the Stanford University Press site -- I especially like the one by Don Hammond, one of HP's most important historic contributors.