And the same people who said the iPhone woudl fail ... and the same people who said that Android would fail.
Originally Posted by jcohengd
Actually, there are some people who predict everything will fail. Which guarantees that they will be right a reasonable number of times, because a great many new ideas brought to market DO fail.
Originally Posted by jcohengd
But, when someone correctly guesses that a new idea or product will fail, that certainly doesn't prove anything particulary good about the guesser, unless they also correctly predicted things like why, how and when the failure would occur. So, unless someone predicted in advance that this would happen in connection with HP getting out of the PC business, then they're just full of cheese. Because that's what has really happened here.
HP has announced that they are going to spin off the Personal Systems Group. Todd Bradley runs that group. When a company like HP announces a planned spinoff of a major division, politics inside the company immediately start to change. Bradley starts thinking about how life will be down the road, when he is running a stand-alone company that previously had been the PSG at HP. He starts thinking, "Hmmm, is there anything R&D that I really need to get HP to pay for before I take my new company down the street? Any problems I need to get HP to fix? Any bad segments I want to dump? Any hot projects that I want to protect from the heads of other divisions?"
HP pulled Ann Livermore out of PSG, signalling that she will be staying with Big HP. Todd Bradley is in charge. Having worked on public company spinoffs, I'm willing to bet that Bradley absolutely knew that the spinoff announcement was coming, and also that the future of webOS had already been discussed at length between Bradley and the rest of the management team. The question would have been, was webOS going with the PSG, or was it staying with Big HP. When we find out the answer to that question, we'll know a lot more about how the decision was made to shut down production of webOS devices.
If webOS goes with the PSG, that will mean Bradley said that he wanted the PSG to stop making webOS devices. If he's going to lead PSG as a new company, then HP will pretty much let him do what he wants with PSG between now and the spinoff. If he told Big HP that he really believed in webOS, and that making tablets and phones would be an important part of the future success of PSG, then Big HP would let him keep doing that. It simply would not matter that much to Big HP, because the market is going to immediately start thinking about PSG as a separate company.
On the other hand, if webOS stays with Big HP, that will mean that Leo and friends told Bradley, "Sure, buddy, go ahead and keep making webOS devices. But ... we're Big HP will retain ownership of the webOS software. It's not going with the PSG. And we're still going to try to license it or sell it to somebody who's already a big player in the phone biz. At which point, Bradley wouild have given Leo the middle finger salute. Or, it might not have been Leo. It may have been one of the other division heads saying something like, "hey, that Bradley guy already had his chance with this software, and we paid a bunch of money for it, so we should keep it."
Bottom line is that the real key in killing HP webOS devices was NOT the quality of existing devices. That's a load of horse apples. The decision to spin off the PC business resulted in the decision to stop making webOS phones and tablets. When we find out which part of HP ends up with webOS, or with the money from selling webOS, we'll know more about exactly how that decision rolled out.