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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcedhk View Post
    Wow. This whole thing with webOS and the Personal Systems Group has got to be one of the biggest corporate screw ups of all time. When I was studying business the big cautionary tale was New Coke. It'll be interesting to see in a few years whether this story gets added to the textbooks as well.
    splitting and/or selling off PSG may be a business lesson and that's debatable. Time will tell whether they really should or should not have gone the IBM route and changed businesses. To that point i was struck by a line in the Jobs biography where Jobs was cleaning house at Apple and went to a friend, Mike Markkula's, house to ask him to resign.
    "Jobs’s ambition was to build a company that would endure, and he asked Markkula what the formula for that would be. Markkula replied that lasting companies know how to reinvent themselves. Hewlett-Packard had done that repeatedly; it started as an instrument company, then became a calculator company, then a computer company. “Apple has been sidelined by Microsoft in the PC business,” Markkula said. “You’ve got to reinvent the company to do some other thing, like other consumer products or devices. You’ve got to be like a butterfly and have a metamorphosis.” Jobs didn’t say much, but he agreed." (Chapt. 24)
    HP wasn't always a computer company or a printer company. They have always changed. It's part of why they are still relevant. Deep down, I think it was time to change again, and all Meg did was stop needed metamorphosis. And thus, long term, i think they'll die or at least become much less dominant. Not because of the few that are mad because of webos and won't buy HP. But because they are largely in stagnant or declining markets, with declining profit margins and they will fail to do what they have had the courage to do in the past; in fact to do what IBM did; what Apple did: to to be a butterfly and have a metamorphosis. But I digress. Shutting selling off PSG is and stopping making webos devices are two different issues though.

    Do you really think, the lesson from a business class, would be that shuttering WebOS was a bad idea? That a product that isn't selling well and is costing you hundreds of millions in losses a quarter, and has never been profitable over 3 years, especially given the fact that they'd have had to invest a ton more to build out a marketplace and ecosystem on top of their quarterly losses just to have a very uncertain chance of success 3 or 4 years down the line? Given all the competition and their dominant position, loyal user base, and huge cash positions i find it hard to think that most neutral people evaluating the decisions to stop making webos hardware will think the correct business move was to continue hemorrhaging money on an unproven and uncertain product. Consider that of all the things Meg did, the one thing she did not do was decide to keep throwing tons of money at WebOS. The facts being what they were in August of 2011 i don't think it will be thought of as the wrong decision by most neutral observers.
    You come at the king. You best not miss.
  2. #22  
    you think if we ask, they'll sell us the app?
  3. #23  
    Well the light bar, the slightly bulbous shape and the glossy piano black, make it seem like our beloved Touchpad.
  4. #24  
    SnotBoogie,

    Someone who knows about how the market works (be that a business class or not) would've told them that they were insane for the entire fiasco. Releasing a better TouchPad at a lower end-user cost, with a much improved software infrastructure, would've made a world of difference. The entire thing was completely screwed up from the first stage.

    A business class would've said "why are you hiring that Leo guy?" .. and probably "why are you firing that Mark guy?". From what I gather, it sounds like this Mark guy knew what he was doing, and had a plan, and Leo communicated that plan to the world (webOS on everything!) but then had absolutely no clue whatsoever how to make it happen (see also, his complete failure at his former company).
    Author:
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    GO OPEN WEBOS!
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  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by eblade View Post
    A business class would've said "why are you hiring that Leo guy?" .. and probably "why are you firing that Mark guy?". From what I gather, it sounds like this Mark guy knew what he was doing, and had a plan, and Leo communicated that plan to the world (webOS on everything!) but then had absolutely no clue whatsoever how to make it happen (see also, his complete failure at his former company).
    I wouldn't say Leo had no clue... he had no desire to execute said plan.

    Now maybe he had no clue that after all this time and money was invested in said plan, he couldn't just axe it without causing great damage to the company he was supposed to be leading.
    I love physical keyboards... but there is two devices that would make me consider a slab, one is something running a full version of Open webOS. The other is an iPhone!!!! HA HA just kidding (about the iPhone that is)...
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by SnotBoogie View Post
    Do you really think, the lesson from a business class, would be that shuttering WebOS was a bad idea?
    Quote Originally Posted by SnotBoogie View Post
    The facts being what they were in August of 2011 i don't think it will be thought of as the wrong decision by most neutral observers.
    No, I definitely don't think the decision to get out of webOS was a bad business decision for HP - I made some posts regarding that awhile back putting forward the reasons why they must have felt they had to do it. Re the PSG spin-off, again I can see the business reasons for doing it - being in a situation where your main product only brings you a 5% profit margin is not exactly a dream scenario.

    The real screw up was the incredibly slipshod, undisciplined, and practically schizophrenic way in which these decisions were executed and communicated. There were so many things done wrong it seems impossible to believe they ever sat down in a room together and had even a 10 minute chat about what they were going to do. No one cleared their throat and said "umm....but..." ? It's like for a couple weeks in August the entire senior management team at HP forgot everything about running a company that they must have learned over their many decades of experience. Astonishing.
  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by khazoury View Post
    you think if we ask, they'll sell us the app?
    We can try I suppose. Even if the version for TP hasn't been updated since last August, beggars such as us can't afford to be picky.

    There's always the possibility though that they might say that even though they had a TP version ready to go, they can't afford to provide support that would be needed for the app on yet another platform...
  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcedhk View Post
    The real screw up was the incredibly slipshod, undisciplined, and practically schizophrenic way in which these decisions were executed and communicated.
    in that i generally agree. I read an article that basically slated HP's management but over like the last 10 years. So they were much broader in their criticism. Saying essentially that management has been inept for a long time. Since before Carly. But considering stories that they didn't really interview Leo makes me think they had serious communication issues. The fact that they fired him doesn't even reflect very well on the board. How is it they let it get that far if they really didn't like the decision to spin off PSG? My guess is they were either asleep at the wheel and not paying attention or paying attention and dumb.

    Quote Originally Posted by eblade View Post
    SnotBoogie,

    Someone who knows about how the market works (be that a business class or not) would've told them that they were insane for the entire fiasco. Releasing a better TouchPad at a lower end-user cost, with a much improved software infrastructure, would've made a world of difference.
    Yeah of course but that is also totally unrealistic. What your asking for is for them to release a "better touchpad" for cheaper money with better software. A better touchpad means a better camera, materials, screen, case, chips, ports, more memory for cheaper. Add on that the cost of hiring enough people to fix all that was wrong with webos. Even the cheaper fire has nuetered specs. It's got much less memory, smaller screens, plus it's much more of a device to sell amazon stuff than an android tablet like a Galaxy or something. So to drop the price and still make it profitable the only way to do it would be to cut specs drastically. So no 32 GBs, not nice screens, cheaper processors, no gorilla glass, minimal outputs.

    And even that doesn't fix one of the biggest issues with any tablet not made by Apple: Very few apps and very little support. I believe there are android tablets with better specs then the ipad 2 but the ipad 2 still slaughters them in sales. Clearly merely making the actual physical device better without investing fully in building out the ecosystem of apps, properties like netflix that people ask for, and delivering media like movies, tv, books, music I don't think would have yielded much better results.

    This was a company that bought Palm to stem declining profits. So i don't think it's realistic to think they would just absorb a billion in losses per year to build the hardware and build out the ecosystem as needed. That was really the crux of why they shut it down. It would be expensive to do what needed to be done. And at the time i think they only had 12 bill in cash, 2 after they bought Autonomy. But i think trying to sell a better product for cheaper just makes the loss greater.

    Quote Originally Posted by eblade View Post
    A business class would've said "why are you hiring that Leo guy?" .. and probably "why are you firing that Mark guy?". From what I gather, it sounds like this Mark guy knew what he was doing, and had a plan, and Leo communicated that plan to the world (webOS on everything!) but then had absolutely no clue whatsoever how to make it happen (see also, his complete failure at his former company).
    well the mark guy had bad PRPRPR. $He$ $was$ $accused$ $of$ $sexual$ $harassment$. $It$'$s$ $pretty$ $hard$ $whether$ $he$ $did$ $anything$ $wrong$ $or$ $not$ $to$ $have$ $that$ $as$ $the$ $public$ $face$ $of$ $your$ $company$. $Might$ $as$ $well$ $hire$ $Herman$ $Cain$. $And$ $he$ $had$, $issues$, $i$ $believe$ $with$ $filing$ $incorrect$ $expense$ $reports$. $But$ $i$ $may$ $be$ $wrong$ $on$ $that$. $I$ $should$ $be$ $noted$ $though$ $that$.

    I don't really have an opinion as to whether firing him was right or not. If he did what they say he did i'd have fired him. Another thing i've heard is that much of what Hurd did amounted to nothing more then firing a ton of people to streamline the company and cut waste rather then some sort of Steve Jobsian brillant master plan. Again i've read that but i have no clue obviously not working for them.

    As for hiring Leo, well i've read they are known for having stupid Directors so i wouldn't be surprised if they never actually did meet him before hiring him like i've read.

    Regardless i've still never heard of Natasha Bedingfield. lol.
    Last edited by SnotBoogie; 02/28/2012 at 04:21 AM.
    You come at the king. You best not miss.
  9. cgk
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    #29  
    And even that doesn't fix one of the biggest issues with any tablet not made by Apple: Very few apps and very little support. I believe there are android tablets with better specs then the ipad 2 but the ipad 2 still slaughters them in sales. Clearly merely making the actual physical device better without investing fully in building out the ecosystem of apps, properties like netflix that people ask for, and delivering media like movies, tv, books, music I don't think would have yielded much better results.
    This is the really significant bit - HP realised that if they were going to be competitive in 2011/2012/2013, that not only would they have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on more competitive hardware - they would have to sell it at a loss for maybe years, maybe forever while at the same time having to spend billions on the infrastructure/ecosystem side.

    This is why WebOS being open source is really neither here nor there in regards to it's future success - it's based upon one organisation or maybe a collection of organisations ponying up the many billions needed to compete with Google, Apple and to a lesser extent Microsoft.
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