Wednesday, January 23, 2013

a new year with "NOW WHAT?"

I've been sporadic with this HP Blog for the past year.  Thinking about "why" is somewhat depressing. HP was such an inspirational company for so long, at least for me, but I think for many, many other people as well.  The feedback we received for our 2009 book, The HP Phenomenon, has been quite positive in terms of "you captured what it was" -- while lamenting that it has changed so drastically that it would likely be unrecognizable by the founders or any of the old-timers.

So I've been dispirited by this iconic company's all too visible stumbles.  Who hasn't?

HP is still a huge factor in electronics -- sales of $10 billion per month are not to be sneezed at -- and they've seemingly recovered most of the damaged position in worldwide leadership for PC sales after the gaffe about "well, we might get out" from mid-summer 2011.

But times change, and mobile devices find little HP presence. Ironic, when you think that HP pioneered its own growth with the first sophisticated mobile devices, the handheld scientific and business calculators from the early 1970s.  And even the first decent 'portable' printers that could be put at your desk or carried with you on a trip.

I recall with some nostalgia when traveling for Intel ten years ago, and upon arriving somewhere might need 100 copies of some presentation.  It was cheaper and much more effective on occasion to go buy a printer at Staples or Best Buy or Fry's and print in my hotel room than to go to Kinko's at midnight.  I'd give the printer to the maid when I left -- she or he would often be appreciative.  Intel expense account managers were upset for awhile with this practice, but the economics were compelling.

But... I digress.  The question on the table is WHAT NOW?  Let me pose that question to you.  This blog has had 100,000 page views, a number I find amazing given that I started it just to answer a few questions raised by the book publishing.  The book has virtually sold out the first printing as well.  I'm not sure that I have the stomach to write "WHAT WENT WRONG" -- it'd be more fun to write HOW THEY CAME BACK.  Do you agree?

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