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  1. Kelley B's Avatar
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       #1  
    From all the comments, it seems that very few people understand (or care about) the business strategy behind what HP just did. As a business owner myself, I think it is genius. It’s a bold move indeed, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out!

    HP did not announce hardware yesterday. That was just eye candy…a diversion if you will. The ‘wow’ announcement was at the end. HP went ‘all in’ on a bold move to literally change the face of computing for years to come. Sound like a familiar storyline? (hint: Apple)

    Ok HP, you now have my attention.

    Here’s why I’m going to make an investment in HP:
    1. HP has been around, and has been very successful for years. They are not stupid.
    2. As the world changes, companies need to change if they want to avoid going out of business (ie, IBM used to be a meat slicing company, then computers, now ‘business solutions’).
    3. The phone market is a very tiny part of the overall HP portfolio (almost a joke). They are not concerned with phone sales dropping. They’ll let it happen, big deal.
    4. HP bought Palm for the OS, not the phones. Most people love the Pre and the idea because of the OS, not necessarily the phone itself (as seen by 80% of the posts here).
    5. HP knows that unless they artificially throw money at the phone market, they won’t be able to have a phone that actually “wows” the consumer. They’d look silly trying to keep up with the neighbors next door. Why waste money and be runner-up for years to come?
    6. HP makes modest moves to keep themselves in the game (incremental upgrades and platforms to develop their OS), and keeps the consumer mildly interested. They’re not worried about losing a few fans, or making a few people upset...for now. They are making their move.
    7. They decide to proliferate WebOS on millions of computers worldwide over the next 2-5 years.
    8. So, what happens 2-5 years from now, when WebOS is on PCs that ship twice a second? This is why they spent all the time up front, laying the foundation.
    9. Mass proliferation means more interest, more interest brings more developers, more developers means more applications, more applications means more demand, more demand means more of everything...yada yada yada


    Business strategy 101.

    This is clearly a move that sets HP apart from every other “just trying to keep up” technology company out there.

    Why compete and continue to lose, when you can beat them at a different game? We don’t have to like what it means for us short term as fans, but that’s just simply our microwave mentality and lack of business saavy (in most cases).

    Heck, we don’t even have to stick with the short term Pre/Veer/TouchPad devices for them to be successful in their strategy. Enough people will, and that's all they need. I've had my Pre since launch. I'm still unsure what my move will be when I upgrade, but I'm quite certain that I'll be with HP 2-5 years from now.

    People used to mock Apple and laugh about their products back in the day. Was anyone developing for their OS back before they made their moves? Heck, they even fired Steve Jobs.

    Very few companies can afford to make the move HP just did. They lose some fans and some sales for now (in a small market for them), but when they get the OS migrated onto PCs, and it changes the face of computing, only then will you start to see things change… The effects will be seen 2-5 years down the line.

    Good move HP. Smart business.
  2. Kelley B's Avatar
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       #2  
    I guess I'm a little shocked that nobody has anything to say about this.

    Maybe it makes too much sense, or maybe I'm just not angry enough to get people's attention.

    This is good for us loyal WebOS fans. The future is looking very bright.
  3. #3  
    It makes perfect sense. No one can counter the arguments. We are in a war, not a battle. HP's overall strategy is very sound.
  4. #4  
    It makes perfect sense. No one can counter the arguments. We are in a war, not a battle. HP's overall strategy is very sound.
  5. cgk
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelley B View Post
    From all the comments, it seems that very few people understand (or care about) the business strategy behind what HP just did..
    No I think you are mixing up two different thing, strategy and application. HP's strategy is perfectly clear but their application seems to be pretty poor (based on current evidence). Having a strategy and being able to carry it out are often world's apart. I doubt think many of us don't understand HP's strategy, it's just not clear if they have the drive or focus to make it happen.

    Moreover, a strategy based on phones being 'almost a joke' is not a sensible one in 2011. Yes, HP ships a lot of PCs, but last quarter more smartphones were shipped than PCs, a trend that is accelerating. If you are correct, HP are conceding the mobile space to their competitors to concentrate on high volume, low margin PCs - an odd move considering Leo wants to move HP to higher margin items.
    Last edited by CGK; 02/10/2011 at 12:32 PM.
  6. #6  
    Not to mention that getting webOS to be successful on the PC front is quite a bit less than a “slam dunk.”

    Show of hands, How many people think the average J6P would take the time to install WebOS on the PC they already own? Now how many think they would entertain the idea of buying a PC that only runs WebOS instead of MS/Apple? …Anyone?

    Now, as for the notion of WebOS coming free on every HP computer sold, yeah they’ll probably do that. But how many people even look at the “pre-installed” software available on OEM computers?

    -Suntan
  7. #7  
    everything you say makes a lot of sense. however, the difference between what HP is doing now vs. what Apple did back in the day is that HP (whether intentionally or not) mislead a lot of the user-base over the past year with many false-hopes.

    i wish HP the best because i, too, would like to see HP emerge as successful as Apple. webOS is an amazing OS that deserves no less. i have been, and still am, cautiously optimistic that all the pieces will eventually fall into place. we will see in the coming months... i still worry though, for a couple of reasons:

    1) as stated above: false hopes. if they are indeed trying to pull an apple, they cannot continue to do this. we've seen a handful of examples already, from various high-ups to the CEO. this just creates bad will as it is now. that's a serious misstep.

    2) execution: a brilliant idea poorly executed is still not going to succeed. does HP have the single-mindedness of an Apple to pull this off? again, i remain cautiously optimistic. i know people who work at HP. i've heard the horror stories. what HP did yesterday was to try and pull an Apple with the surprise-and-delight factor... except that they didn't quite do it. there were many things that went right and many things that went wrong. if HP wants to play the Apple game and relaunch themselves, they're going to have to do better.

    so, sure i'll agree with you that HP is essentially taking the position of being OK with losing in the short-term. i seriously hope, though, that they have a more solid showing for the long-term––everything from strategy to execution to the surprise-and-delight factor. as much as people love to berate Steve Jobs and Apple's insane focus on the little things, it's a large part of what took Apple to where they are today.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    Yes, HP shape a lot of PCs, but last quarter more smartphones were shipped than smart-phones, a trend that is accelerating.
    THIS.

    If the whole point of acquiring WebOS is to get in as close to the ground floor as possible in the emerging mobile devices market, why would you make slapping this onto PCs a bedrock of said strategy when they're going in the other direction?

    More importantly, why try to attract developers to WebOS as a hardware/resolution-agnostic OS that can run on anything when Microsoft will be pursing the same strategy with the Windows App Store to be included with Windows 8, and Intel is already facilitating this on Windows XP/7 laptops with their AppUp app store?

    iOS and Android software platforms are exploding BECAUSE they have apps that take advantage of the hardware like GPU-accelerated games, compass-utilizing maps and AR apps, and stuff optimized for that resolution and screen size.
  9. Kelley B's Avatar
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       #9  
    Awesome, great responses and excellent points. That's the reason I put it out there. I appreciate the feedback.

    I couldn't agree more with the comments about being cautiously optimistic, and application vs strategy. Indeed, time will truly tell whether this was the right move, but it's quite possible that this could have been their best move with their resources and position in the marketplace.

    Not many companies can compete with what Apple is doing. They're ahead of the game. However, Microsoft was at one point ahead of the game too.

    There are no easy answers in business, and nothing is ever one-dimentional, but that's why I love it, and I enjoy seeing companies make bold moves.

    As for the comments on false hopes...good point too. They may have lost more credibility than they would be able to afford. With today's social marketing, credibility is huge. That may have been one area that they could have shored up before making the leap, just to keep face.

    Again, I look forward to watching how this plays out.

    Thanks again for the feedback.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelley B View Post
    From all the comments, it seems that very few people understand (or care about) the business strategy behind what HP just did. As a business owner myself, I think it is genius. It’s a bold move indeed, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out!

    HP did not announce hardware yesterday. That was just eye candy…a diversion if you will. The ‘wow’ announcement was at the end. HP went ‘all in’ on a bold move to literally change the face of computing for years to come. Sound like a familiar storyline? (hint: Apple)

    Ok HP, you now have my attention.

    Here’s why I’m going to make an investment in HP:
    [LIST=1][*]HP has been around, and has been very successful for years. They are not stupid.[*]As the world changes, companies need to change if they want to avoid going out of business (ie, IBM used to be a meat slicing company, then computers, now ‘business solutions’). [*]The phone market is a very tiny part of the overall HP portfolio (almost a joke). They are not concerned with phone sales dropping. They’ll let it happen, big deal.
    Good move HP. Smart business.
    Wow, you are so off on this. You know they already sell computers with dual-boot: windows and a small quick-boot OS (goes straight into a browser). Guess what? They aren't selling well and aren't being used. They can claim all they want that they'll put webOS on every device but the whole thing falls apart when it's driven by the interaction between WebOS devices and no one wants their phone. So a non-webOS phone with a WebOS tablet offers ZERO benefit over an iPad to the average consumer.

    Sure the multitasking's better, but most people aren't going to notice that or care until they use the two devices for a week or more (which isn't possible for consumers). And the WebOS version fails on some of the most important apps needed, like MS Office compatibility.
  11. Kelley B's Avatar
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by 6tr6tr View Post
    Wow, you are so off on this...
    Fair enough. No argument here.

    Maybe HP will crumble, maybe they will prevail. Who knows. I don't mind eating my words, and it won't be the first time. It's all part of the game.

    Thanks again for the perspectives. Good 411 for the 'ole database in my head.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelley B View Post
    Fair enough. No argument here.

    Maybe HP will crumble, maybe they will prevail. Who knows. I don't mind eating my words, and it won't be the first time. It's all part of the game.

    Thanks again for the perspectives. Good 411 for the 'ole database in my head.
    HP will be totally fine. It's their WebOS stuff that might fail. Outside of the WebOS stuff, they've got over $100 billion dollars of revenue.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    No I think you are mixing up two different thing, strategy and application. HP's strategy is perfectly clear but their application seems to be pretty poor (based on current evidence). Having a strategy and being able to carry it out are often world's apart. I doubt think many of us don't understand HP's strategy, it's just not clear if they have the drive or focus to make it happen.

    Moreover, a strategy based on phones being 'almost a joke' is not a sensible one in 2011. Yes, HP ships a lot of PCs, but last quarter more smartphones were shipped than PCs, a trend that is accelerating. If you are correct, HP are conceding the mobile space to their competitors to concentrate on high volume, low margin PCs - an odd move considering Leo wants to move HP to higher margin items.
    If HP didn't have the drive or focus to make things happen, then why would they acquire Palm in the first place? Surely not because they acted on a whim.
  14. mike5's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    Most people here don't own HP stock. They just want their smartphone to do smart things. They weren't planning on being a stepping stone for HP's newfound aspirations.

    You can't blame HP that much, really. They operate in a consumer commodity business where customer loyalty doesn't really amount to much - desktops, notebooks, printer, printer ink. I can see how they might feel that people who bought Palm devices might as well go **** themselves. HP bought webOS, not Palm's failed business strategy nor its reputation.
    I am an HP share holder (for about the last 6 months) AND I want my smartphone to do smart things. I disagree w/you about customer loyalty. Sounds like you think any consumer commodity business doesn't care about customer loyalty. Do you think Apple feels that way about their consumers? Do you think Airlines who run multimillion dollar frequent flier plans and lounges don't care about customer loyalty?

    Do you think HP would donate a server to webOS Internals if they didn't want loyalty? Over a $10k donation w/no strings attached? It impressed me they would do this for a hacker of their own Operating System.

    I think they care tremendously, but have made some mistakes along the way (Palm & HP). Part of that due to a lack of funds at Palm some due to the process of going through a merger, and some--webOS 2.0--just don't work out. I am as disappointed as any not to have 2.0, but I can understand how these things can happen, even w/the best of intentions.

    As an investor, I only hope there are fewer of these mistakes going forward & execution is excellent. No one & no company is flawless. I admire them for taking this leap of faith with webOS & I hope it pays off for them.
  15. mike5's Avatar
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    #15  
    Well written, Kelley. I wrote something similar (not as eloquently) in another thread. Most of us here had extremely high expectations and wanted the home run, but as you said, HP is really transforming their company around webOS. Looked at it that way, $1.2B was fairly inexpensive when they bought Palm. Short term, I believe we had to settle for the stand up double.

    I was disappointed products aren't shipping in March, but this is a huge risk HP is taking. Much like Tiger Woods (of old) changing his swing after a season where he wins a couple majors) or similar to Boeing when they took the risk of building the 747.

    I love the product & hope their execution goes well as they move forward. There will always be some tough decisions to be made--webOS 2.0 on our older products, taking the gesture area off the TouchPad--but I wish HP the best going forward.

    Most companies don't have the cajones to try to make such a major transformation as HP is attempting. I wish them the best.
  16. knsnik's Avatar
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    #16  
    I have a HP touchsmart which i really like. I would absolutely love it with Webos as the "touch" program.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelley B View Post
    From all the comments, it seems that very few people understand (or care about) the business strategy behind what HP just did. As a business owner myself, I think it is genius. It’s a bold move indeed, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out!

    HP did not announce hardware yesterday. That was just eye candy…a diversion if you will. The ‘wow’ announcement was at the end. HP went ‘all in’ on a bold move to literally change the face of computing for years to come. Sound like a familiar storyline? (hint: Apple)

    Ok HP, you now have my attention.

    Here’s why I’m going to make an investment in HP:
    1. HP has been around, and has been very successful for years. They are not stupid.
    2. As the world changes, companies need to change if they want to avoid going out of business (ie, IBM used to be a meat slicing company, then computers, now ‘business solutions’).
    3. The phone market is a very tiny part of the overall HP portfolio (almost a joke). They are not concerned with phone sales dropping. They’ll let it happen, big deal.
    4. HP bought Palm for the OS, not the phones. Most people love the Pre and the idea because of the OS, not necessarily the phone itself (as seen by 80% of the posts here).
    5. HP knows that unless they artificially throw money at the phone market, they won’t be able to have a phone that actually “wows” the consumer. They’d look silly trying to keep up with the neighbors next door. Why waste money and be runner-up for years to come?
    6. HP makes modest moves to keep themselves in the game (incremental upgrades and platforms to develop their OS), and keeps the consumer mildly interested. They’re not worried about losing a few fans, or making a few people upset...for now. They are making their move.
    7. They decide to proliferate WebOS on millions of computers worldwide over the next 2-5 years.
    8. So, what happens 2-5 years from now, when WebOS is on PCs that ship twice a second? This is why they spent all the time up front, laying the foundation.
    9. Mass proliferation means more interest, more interest brings more developers, more developers means more applications, more applications means more demand, more demand means more of everything...yada yada yada


    Business strategy 101.

    This is clearly a move that sets HP apart from every other “just trying to keep up” technology company out there.

    Why compete and continue to lose, when you can beat them at a different game? We don’t have to like what it means for us short term as fans, but that’s just simply our microwave mentality and lack of business saavy (in most cases).

    Heck, we don’t even have to stick with the short term Pre/Veer/TouchPad devices for them to be successful in their strategy. Enough people will, and that's all they need. I've had my Pre since launch. I'm still unsure what my move will be when I upgrade, but I'm quite certain that I'll be with HP 2-5 years from now.

    People used to mock Apple and laugh about their products back in the day. Was anyone developing for their OS back before they made their moves? Heck, they even fired Steve Jobs.

    Very few companies can afford to make the move HP just did. They lose some fans and some sales for now (in a small market for them), but when they get the OS migrated onto PCs, and it changes the face of computing, only then will you start to see things change… The effects will be seen 2-5 years down the line.

    Good move HP. Smart business.
    HP should hire you , I think this is great summation of their vision "Think Beyond"
    Last edited by RoverNole; 02/10/2011 at 09:07 PM.

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