HP's success before calculators

dalethorn d_t_h_o_r_n at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 31 14:43:27 PDT 2011


I am aware that HP made signal generators and 'scopes and other things before they made calculators.  But, forward progress into things such as atomic clocks and modern computers would not be possible unless you either 1) Buy the tools necessary to design, construct, and manufacture these items, or - 2) Make the tools yourself.  I believe that HP's smarter people realized back in the 1950's or 1960's that they would have an important advanage over other tech companies if they began to build their technology base around the algorithms and things that eventually came to be incorporated in their calculator and computer chips.  And their downfall is not just coincidental to abandoning their role in creating their own tools. 

On Oct 31, 2011, at 14:06, hhc-request at lists.brouhaha.com wrote:

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>   1. RE: Re: HP's biggest blunder (Richard)
>   2. Re: Re: HP's biggest blunder (Veli-Pekka Nousiainen)
>   3. RE: Re: HP's biggest blunder (Richard)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 12:05:56 -0700
> From: "Richard" <richard1941 at gmail.com>
> Subject: RE: Re: HP's biggest blunder
> To: "'Handheld Computing Conference discussion list'"
>    <hhc at lists.brouhaha.com>
> Message-ID: <6D611F9B74914680AD83C31A41799C3A at OwnerPC>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 
> You are reminding me of my experience at Northrop.  When I first joined, the
> founder was retired, but his widow's boyfriend was running the company.   It
> was very much an engineering company.   Then the MBA types took over, and it
> became a totally political/financial company.    The bottom line: the
> directors are required to maximize shareholder value.  Whatever it takes,
> fair or unfair, honest or crooked, right or wrong.   Like all biological
> waste, this flows downhill through the layers of management and gets dumped
> on the head of the engineer.   
> 
> 
> 
> To learn more, you can join SHRM and get their journal.
> 
> 
> 
>  _____  
> 
> From: hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com [mailto:hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com]
> On Behalf Of Richard J. Nelson
> Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2011 2:53 PM
> To: 'Handheld Computing Conference discussion list'
> Subject: RE: Re: HP's biggest blunder
> 
> 
> 
> So true, so true.
> 
> 
> 
> From: hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com [mailto:hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com]
> On Behalf Of Walter Bonin
> Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2011 11:20 AM
> To: hhc at lists.brouhaha.com
> Subject: Aw: Re: HP's biggest blunder
> 
> 
> 
> I don't want to underestimate the significance of "their early calculator
> technology" but HP was successful earlier with other equipment already.
> Calculators just fitted in their portfolio very well, and they built them
> with the quality we all appreciate. What got lost, IMHO, is they were an
> engineering company founded by engineers for engineers - now they're just
> another big company.
> 
> Gesendet: Sonntag, 30. Oktober 2011 um 18:43 Uhr
> Von: dalethorn <d_t_h_o_r_n at yahoo.com>
> An: "hhc at lists.brouhaha.com" <hhc at lists.brouhaha.com>
> 
> Cc: 
> 
> Betreff: Re: HP's biggest blunder 
> 
> 
> Their biggest mistake is not understanding that their early calculator
> technology was a fundamental building block of their success. Every employee
> should have an understanding of how and where HP's success developed, but
> that won't happen, and so down the slope of failure they will go.
> 
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> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 22:52:14 +0200
> From: Veli-Pekka Nousiainen <nousiainen.velipekka at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: Re: HP's biggest blunder
> To: Handheld Computing Conference discussion list
>    <hhc at lists.brouhaha.com>
> Message-ID:
>    <CAB+JenMCDs2nRgUR33+ufjqWY_SHeF4-6MQqaszWLsQVmeXF8A at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
> 
> Dilbert...
> 
> On Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 21:05, Richard <richard1941 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> You are reminding me of my experience at Northrop.  When I first joined,
>> the founder was retired, but his widow?s boyfriend was running the
>> company.   It was very much an engineering company.   Then the MBA types
>> took over, and it became a totally political/financial company.    The
>> bottom line: the directors are required to maximize shareholder value.
>> Whatever it takes, fair or unfair, honest or crooked, right or wrong.
>> Like all biological waste, this flows downhill through the layers of
>> management and gets dumped on the head of the engineer.   ****
>> 
>> ** **
>> 
>> To learn more, you can join SHRM and get their journal.****
>> 
>> ** **
>> ------------------------------
>> 
>> *From:* hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com [mailto:
>> hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com] *On Behalf Of *Richard J. Nelson
>> *Sent:* Sunday, October 30, 2011 2:53 PM
>> *To:* 'Handheld Computing Conference discussion list'
>> *Subject:* RE: Re: HP's biggest blunder****
>> 
>> ** **
>> 
>> *So true, so true.*
>> 
>> * *
>> 
>> *From:* hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com [mailto:
>> hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com] *On Behalf Of *Walter Bonin
>> *Sent:* Sunday, October 30, 2011 11:20 AM
>> *To:* hhc at lists.brouhaha.com
>> *Subject:* Aw: Re: HP's biggest blunder****
>> 
>> ** **
>> 
>> I don't want to underestimate the significance of "their early calculator
>> technology" but HP was successful earlier with other equipment already.
>> Calculators just fitted in their portfolio very well, and they built them
>> with the quality we all appreciate. What got lost, IMHO, is they were an
>> engineering company founded by engineers for engineers - now they're just
>> another big company.****
>> 
>> *Gesendet:* Sonntag, 30. Oktober 2011 um 18:43 Uhr
>> *Von:* dalethorn <d_t_h_o_r_n at yahoo.com>
>> *An:* "hhc at lists.brouhaha.com" <hhc at lists.brouhaha.com>****
>> 
>> *Cc:* ****
>> 
>> *Betreff:* Re: HP's biggest blunder ****
>> 
>> 
>> Their biggest mistake is not understanding that their early calculator
>> technology was a fundamental building block of their success. Every
>> employee should have an understanding of how and where HP's success
>> developed, but that won't happen, and so down the slope of failure they
>> will go.****
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> HHC mailing list
>> HHC at lists.brouhaha.com
>> http://lists.brouhaha.com/mailman/listinfo/hhc
>> 
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> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:06:18 -0700
> From: "Richard" <richard1941 at gmail.com>
> Subject: RE: Re: HP's biggest blunder
> To: "'Handheld Computing Conference discussion list'"
>    <hhc at lists.brouhaha.com>
> Message-ID: <290DE554779F49CF96DD041036733715 at OwnerPC>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 
> An important book on this issue is "Bait and Switch" by Barbara Ehrenreich.
> Highly recommended.   I betcha that if HP tried to recruit you, they will
> claim that they are an engineering company founded by engineers for
> engineers
> 
> 
> 
>  _____  
> 
> From: hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com [mailto:hhc-bounces at lists.brouhaha.com]
> On Behalf Of Walter Bonin
> Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2011 11:20 AM
> To: hhc at lists.brouhaha.com
> Subject: Aw: Re: HP's biggest blunder
> 
> 
> 
> I don't want to underestimate the significance of "their early calculator
> technology" but HP was successful earlier with other equipment already.
> Calculators just fitted in their portfolio very well, and they built them
> with the quality we all appreciate. What got lost, IMHO, is they were - now
> they're just another big company.
> 
> Gesendet: Sonntag, 30. Oktober 2011 um 18:43 Uhr
> Von: dalethorn <d_t_h_o_r_n at yahoo.com>
> An: "hhc at lists.brouhaha.com" <hhc at lists.brouhaha.com>
> 
> Cc: 
> 
> Betreff: Re: HP's biggest blunder 
> 
> 
> Their biggest mistake is not understanding that their early calculator
> technology was a fundamental building block of their success. Every employee
> should have an understanding of how and where HP's success developed, but
> that won't happen, and so down the slope of failure they will go.
> 
> -------------- next part --------------
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> URL: http://lists.brouhaha.com/pipermail/hhc/attachments/20111031/fea4b656/attachment.html 
> 
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> 
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> End of HHC Digest, Vol 43, Issue 29
> ***********************************


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