So, in time for today's Annual Board Meeting (starts for HP in an hour or so), Mike Lynch has issued yet another strong attack on HP and its Board re the 'botched' acquisition of his company. Who knpws how this one will play out, but for me the real question is -- does it matter?
Read John Furrier's SiliconAngle at silicon angle.com today, labeled "Breaking Analysis: HP Shareholder Fireworks" -- which I found just after penning the previous post, saying "NO FIREWORKS TODAY". We'll see.
What I love about pundits is their remarkable self-confidence. Furrier proclaims that he alone of all analysts raised questions in 2011 about HP's purchase of Autonomy, which on the surface would be fairly indicting of the analyst crowd. Or at least put him at the top of the best of Monday morning QBs
Furrier probably doesn't follow this blog, else he'd know that at least one other observer saw 'something wrong.' On Sept 16, 2011, two weeks after the deal, I wrote that this was "a stupid purchase, because they bought the wrong company, not the wrong space" . On May 12, 2012, I called it "an idiotic exorbitant deal" while reporting the 2Q HP numbers. Not the most delicate of phrasing, nor did it delve into purported misdeeds of due diligence or acquisition mis-statements. I was simply coming from a place of what MIS directors and IT shop managers and business analytics users tell me about this relatively esoteric kind of software. In other words, my comments were driven against the usability and value of the software, not the ethics and optics of the balance sheet and revenue projections. Both matter -- and if Furrier is indeed correct that he alone saw the second set of issues, shame on HP leaders, but also on other analysts. The fact that no one else (to my knowledge) has publicly stepped forward to simply say this dogfood isn't edible, no matter the cost, is more amazing to me.
Is it good dogfood? And if so, can't HP's vaunted enterprise leadership make it into something of value. If it is mediocre dogfood, can't the historic "HP Invent" make it superb? Either way, does it matter to put a stick in Lynch's eye? Time to move on?