Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NPR in Sacramento last week

We were invited to an interview -- another 15 minutes of Andy Warhol's "fame quotient" -- last week, which is on the web, at:
I didn't name her, but our niece is working at the Roseville division there

Discussion w David Liddle

After a Brian Arthur lecture last night at Global Business Network (GBN, now part of Monitor Group), we adjourned to dinner, where the question came up about the demise of "Big R" such as Bell Labs and XeroxPARC. Both Arthur and David Liddle at the table had been at PARC during the "heyday" which they said was 1972-1982 (altho Arthur thought the best work was actually in the mid- to late-eighties, when he was there).
Liddle proferred the idea that only large, monopolistic companies have been able over time to support "Big R" and when the monopoly fails (with the AT&T consent decree in 1984, for example, or the success of HP LaserJet and other incursions into Xerox's main lines), the game is mostly up. He was more sanguine than, for example, Judy Estrin (or me for that matter) about the way in which Venture Capital is actually providing a more efficient research model for academics to get their great ideas capitalized. Arthur's clever retort was to say that in Sacramento it is pronounced "Cah-Pit'-al-ized"
The reason to include this in an HP story blog was that Liddle offered, unsolicited, that HPLabs has been the most singularly successful "R" lab in the world over time, in terms of actually transforming the parent company, as well as in keeping a "low profile" and not setting the "R" expectations particularly high. Music to my ears!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

check out the Harvard Biz Review OnLine

Michael Schrage, the wellknown innovation commentator, now a Fellow at the MIT Sloan School, penned some nice words for the Harvard Biz Review online series two weeks ago:
"The Delicate Art of Unauthorized Innovation"

He wrote: '"Better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.' That's been the rallying cry of organizational intrapreneurs and innovators.... The paradigmatic story is of Hewlett-Packard's Chuck House, who persisted ... despite being directly told by... David Packard to knock it off.... House was forgiven -- and has co-authored what is arguably the best book about HP."

Nice words!!! Michael e-mailed me later to say "I'm a fan. It's a terrific book. Congratulations!" I look forward to meeting him someday....

Monday, April 12, 2010

commentary from Bill Terry

Got a thoughtful note from EVP Bill Terry the other day -- he'd finished the book, and had 109 comments to share! Took us four hours to go through the material for which he had questions, additional information, or another perspective. It was a marvelous time, made all the more pleasant by a complimentary lunch and convivial mood. More importantly, it gave me some new insights, several important errata, and even more respect for a great gentleman who took more than immodest time to help on this archival project.

Many others have sent helpful illuminating notes, points of view, and corrections. All of these are sincerely appreciated; this is a harder task than you might imagine, and 'getting it right' is not an easy thing to do (maybe even an impossible belief -- who's to say 'who's right'?). ALL input is valuable

available on Kindle

not sure about when/whether it will be on i-Pad, but it is now on Kindle