Thursday, March 13, 2014

Back after going to sleep for a couple months

Wow, where does the time go?  My last post was nine weeks ago???  Doesn't seem possible, meanwhile the world kept going.  And so did HP.  The Keysight story, admittedly, is pretty far afield. What's going on at the big mothership, at least from my perspective?

The answer, I believe, is quite a lot.  Although you'd be hard pressed to know that from the trade press, sort of just like always.  So it's got to be "ear to the ground" kind of things.

The time sink for us was centered around another physical move.  Those who know my wife and I know that we are inveterately moving, for one reason or another (usually not because we can't pay the rent).  In this case, we have mostly relocated to the Central Valley of California, in a very small town called Elderwood, hardly visible on any map.  Where it is, is a mile north of the intersection of State Hiways 201 and 245.  201 is the main road into Sequoia National Park; 245 is the eastern-most road into Kings Canyon National Park.  So we're 30 air miles from Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States, and the snow-capped Kaweah range, even in this drought year, frames our Sequoia Hills Stables setting.

The corollary is that we have also set up camp in, GASP, Palo Alto, for the first time actually living in HP's old stomping ground town in twenty-one years.  Our condo / apartment complex has few HPites, at least as we've discovered it so far, but is chock-full of Googlers and Facebook 'kids.'  And they are indeed kids, mostly, although some have kids of their own.

And in this setting, you just naturally hear about HP and all of the other 'stuff'-- differently than you'd hear at Buck's or the Wagon Wheel or Zot's.  Somehow Greer Park seems remote from the top echelons, closer to the 'action' in a way.

What we hear at the park is that HP is again hiring, purposefully, looking for innovative, aggressive, eager talent--and finding 'em, and attracting 'em.  We've talked to a number of these folk.  Why'd they come?  What attracted them?  Don't they know HP is old and tired, led by a plethora of CEOs (seven have managed the helm for a day or more in the past eight years, WHEW)?

And the answer, not just from the newbies, but from long-term colleagues and friends who are still there, is that the reign of terror is over, Robespierre was guillotined along with the rest, and sanity is prevailing.  Meg, it turns out, IS a devotee of the old HP Way, and people are feeling less fearful, more empowered, and hopeful.  One grizzled 24 year veteran yesterday told me: "The years from 2002 through 2011 were frightful; we're back believing again."

We're not seeing this in the products just yet, but I've never seen it miss--if the employees are jazzed, and empowered, good things happen.  Even at a big place like HP.

Stay tuned!

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