or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › HP shareholders question why company isn't more like Apple
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HP shareholders question why company isn't more like Apple - Page 2

post #41 of 130
Although everyone is right to criticise HP for its shortcomings in

1. HP printers could have a much better interface as opposed to a messy interface and lots of non essential software that they try to push to you (this is not limited to HP though)
2. Horrible website that I as a buyer would not really use for support!
3. Horrible sale website with models that cannot be distinguished from one another! I mean they do not need to become like Apple and only have one desktop. But come on there are too many models!
4. I partially blame MS for being too lazy in order to bring a new OS out!

However HP is doing well in some areas like security!
http://h17007.www1.hp.com/uk/en/solu...ity/index.aspx

I would not be surprised that HP would focus more on these areas as opposed to computer/printer market!
post #42 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post

IMHO, a big part of HP's downfall is a lack of quality. I have an HP calculator that was built sometime between 1982 and 1989. That's at least 23 years ago. And it's still going strong. And the HP-12C, first introduced in 1981, is still being sold today.

On the other hand, I bought a new HP calculator a few years ago so my son could use it for homework, with the expectation that I would get it when he was done. Even though he didn't abuse it (there aren't any cracks or scratches) the keyboard did not survive a full 3 years.

HP used to be known for high quality, carefully thought out equipment. Now they're more known for mid-tier PCs and throwaway inkjets. That's not how you build brand loyalty. As long they're more concerned about being number 1 or 2 in each market than in building equipment that's "insanely great" in capabilities AND quality, their malaise will continue.

Yes, I remember those days. I used to borrow a HP calculator that had Reverse Polish Logic back in 1975 and then bought another another HP calculator with the RPL in 1980 or so... it still works. They were master pieces of American engineering and manufacturing. Recently, I bought a HP server rack loaded up... what a pile of junk. The construction is flimsy. Runs Windows Server and has Intel chips. Nothing proprietary from HP.

HP does have its own proprietary technology in the stuff they sell. Got to have a Gorilla Game. Selling commodity products and services is a low margin biz.

They need a different kind of management. All Meg Whitman did at Ebay was milk the innovations of the founders. Made a ton of money for herself. Is she working for $1?
post #43 of 130
try having a compelling vision and then lead change. we'll hear a lot about their ability to "manage" change, but as pointed out, that's arranging deck chairs in a nice neat line.
post #44 of 130
HP built a company and reputation on quality and reliability. The small volume, high margin model, as has been stated. HP products were as reliable as a light switch, you new what you were getting and you were happy to pay for it. They had fierce brand loyalty

Thinking they could leverage that reputation into the high volume, low margin market is a mistake that is made on a daily basis. When their shareholders ask why can't we be like Apple, they are not asking why can't we have brand loyalty and brand recognition like Apple. they are asking why can't we be as profitable as Apple. This is the question that has put them in the position they are in now.

You are doomed to failure pandering to the shareholders and not the stakeholders. Good riddance.
post #45 of 130
Look, it wouldn't be an easy job to turn around a company like HP, even if it were Steve Jobs himself running the ship. Changing corporate culture that is so ingrained after decades of doing things one way may be close to impossible to do. As much as people, including Apotheker, talk(ed) about HP needing to go the route of IBM, IBM may have become more profitable, but they're not the highly respected [tech] company they once were either.

I agree with others that have said that Meg is not going to be at HP for very long - she's already trying to set the stage that HP has nothing new in the pipeline (because they haven't invested in R&D), so the only way they can improve their financials is to cut staff. Which of course will not make HP a healthy work environment, which will drive the creatives further away from HP (not that there were or are any creatives there now). And the board, well I wouldn't blame them exclusively either - they're part of the problem, but it's much deeper than that.

I don't have an answer for what they could do to improve things. I think all old-school tech companies and even some of the newer ones are scratching their collective heads on what they can come up with for new product that will take some of the limelight away from Apple. When you think about it, it is going to take some brilliant thinkers to create the next "thing" that will take off as a worldwide phenomenon like the iPod, iPhone and iPad have.

HP had a chance with development of their own OS, but now has given that up. That means they are stuck working with MS, making their pc's nothing special compared to any other pc that uses MS. This forces them to compete on price and race towards the bottom.

They have a big chunk of the laser and inkjet market, but here too, there are issues revolving around the transition to digital. I'm just not sure there is any going back to people printing out all the photos they once did.

What else is there for them to lead the market on?
post #46 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Whitman said she encourages her leaders to just do "a few small things well."

That, in a nutshell, is the problem. No vision, and no appetite for trying big things.
post #47 of 130
this is kind of like the parent of a kid playing sports. Mad at the kid for not being the best player on the team... They can't all be the best.

Look at Johnny, he can run fast... why can' t you run fast.

Poor kid
post #48 of 130
HP is in the situation because they squander their opportunities. They bought EDS, and failed to leverage its core strengths. They bought EYP, and have sent the team running. They bought Palm and just gave up.

They strive for building a brand that competes with all their biggest competitors, but lack focus to prioritize which market to focus their energy on. They are built on consumables in every segment; the parallels are there with Kodak-- they will have trouble surviving when their margins shrink.

Without improving on quality, I can't see them being around in 20 years.
post #49 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

HP is in the situation because they squander their opportunities. They bought EDS, and failed to leverage its core strengths. They bought EYP, and have sent the team running. They bought Palm and just gave up.

They strive for building a brand that competes with all their biggest competitors, but lack focus to prioritize which market to focus their energy on. They are built on consumables in every segment; the parallels are there with Kodak-- they will have trouble surviving when their margins shrink.

Without improving on quality, I can't see them being around in 20 years.

Making a major acquisition is always something that pleases the ego of the CEO, but the hard part comes afterwards, when it comes to digest and integrate. Apple reluctance to engage into such major acquisitions proves to be the right approach : if you do not have in your culture innovation spirit, how can you acquire it from outside ?
post #50 of 130
Didn't HP slash and burn their R&D teams over the past handful of years?

  Google Maps: ("Directions may be inaccurate, incomplete, dangerous, or prohibited.")

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

  Google Maps: ("Directions may be inaccurate, incomplete, dangerous, or prohibited.")

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
post #51 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post

then they need to fire everyone at the top, starting with the board. All the non-contributors need to be fired as well.

This is exactly what Steve Jobs did. He did not just cut the fat, he remade Apple into what it needed to be.

That only works if you have someone at the top that has the needed brains etc to mold a new team into a working machine. Whitman doesn't strike me as that type of person
post #52 of 130
What a dumb question to ask. Nobody else is like Apple. If somebody wants to invest in something like Apple, then buy AAPL. Don't buy HP, and then ask the company why they're not more like AAPL.
post #53 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by simtub View Post

Apple is Apple because of Steve Jobs, his Vision and his ability to hire great people. Nuff Said.

Agreed. And no one like Steve to motivate people and get them to believe in the products that they are creating as he could.
post #54 of 130
Ugh, I could have done without the life-size photo of Meg. That grosses me out.
post #55 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Talent. Talent. Talent.

Meg was turned down for work at Apple.

HP stopped being considered innovative around 1994.

Sun Engineers I used to eat lunch with wanted to work at NeXT and later Apple.

It starts at the top. You cannot create a Steve Jobs. You cannot create a Jony Ivy.

Very few companies have natural leaders. Lots of narcissism, but very little leadership.

Imagination and a high aesthetic for taste and how to shape it is not taught. You discover it or your do not. Lots of friends come from various engineering, liberal arts and business backgrounds.

All talented to do tasks, when a solid vision is in place. Creating that vision is an entirely different ball of wax. It either surfaces as a child and grows from there as you get older or it does not.

Meg couldn't lead a creative, highly driven engineering vision to fruition due to having none of these qualities in her.

Odd, weird and unique were all qualities described of Steve as he grew up and developed Apple, then NeXT, PIXAR and back at Apple.

There are tons of degrees in the Valley. Not so much when it comes to personalities that stand out in a crowd.

Steven P. Jobs is an original. It's not something you see more than once or twice in a life time.

Hear, hear!

I am reposting so that people can re-read.
post #56 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by bolts25 View Post

Now it is in the hands of the MBAs so unless something dramatic happens, IMHO, I think it is terminal.

Hey, don't blame MBAs. There are MBAs and there are MBAs.

Tim Cook, for instance, is one.
post #57 of 130
My company used to have HP everything. We spent so much time troubleshooting their products we have no more HP products except for a color laser and that's on it's way out. When we buy new equipment, HP isn't even an option.
post #58 of 130
Someone, please do HP a favor, and mail a link to this thread to Whitman and HP's Chairman of the Board?

There's more valuable advice and insights in the 1.5 pages here than all of the strategy and leadership memos at HP put together, I'll bet.
post #59 of 130
Isn't Apple about to start landing a big spaceship on top of yo'ass?

Get out while the gettin's free!

F
post #60 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by 382 View Post

HP built a company and reputation on quality and reliability. The small volume, high margin model, as has been stated. HP products were as reliable as a light switch, you new what you were getting and you were happy to pay for it. They had fierce brand loyalty

Thinking they could leverage that reputation into the high volume, low margin market is a mistake that is made on a daily basis. When their shareholders ask why can't we be like Apple, they are not asking why can't we have brand loyalty and brand recognition like Apple. they are asking why can't we be as profitable as Apple. This is the question that has put them in the position they are in now.

You are doomed to failure pandering to the shareholders and not the stakeholders. Good riddance.


the shareholders are stakeholders too, but that is beside the point.

Which areas can HP go into or expand with a High Quality/High Profit marketing model?

Could they sell enough super duper photo printers? Or expensive laptops? Super duper calculator/tablets for engineers? Super heavy duty tablets and laptops for roughnecks?

Or what?

I'm really curious about what you may have had in mind.
post #61 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

What a dumb question to ask. Nobody else is like Apple. If somebody wants to invest in something like Apple, then buy AAPL. Don't buy HP, and then ask the company why they're not more like AAPL.

Sometimes, you are very, very correct.

WTF do shareholders want, a company in which to buy stock which is "more like" another company in which they could buy stock? Just buy the stock you want, and ignore the one you don't want.
post #62 of 130
HP shareholders question why company isn't more like Apple

Pointless question because it likely won't happen. LOL not under current management, which looks a helluva lot like previous management.

HP is (and has been for as long as I can remember) run by unimaginative dolts, bean-counters, and salespeople.

Step one to becoming more like Apple:

Ditch the horizontal business model 100%. Give the finger to OEMs and junk-box makers. Make the whole widget. Change your philosophy about how PEOPLE (yes, everyday people) should relate to an agglomeration of circuits, displays, and inorganic materials. That is, really examine how tech fits into lifestyle and how it should make the user feel.

Will this ever happen at HP?

LOL, who the f is Meg f-ing Whitman???

'nuff said.
post #63 of 130
There was a time in HP's past when they behaved very, very much like Apple. I remember when their slogan was "Uncompromising Quality" and that was a bit of an understatement. Their test equipment was legendary and their calculators were objects of adoration (still own my original HP35, HP45, HP25, HP65, HP67, and HP41C, all of which still work). As a young engineer at TI, I was among those fortunate enough to be afforded the privilege of exploiting the first "true" desktop computers, the HP 9800 series. I designed and programmed many automated test systems using HP test equipment and computing technology. The HP9825 was my first taste of "personal computing" and I was hooked. Without a doubt, the most enjoyment I ever got from any personal computing device was the HP9845A/B/C. It was lightyears ahead of anything that would emerge for many years into the future. While the cost of the HP9845 put it completely out of the reach of individuals, those fortunate enough to have been in my situation of working on a constant basis with the machine will agree it was wonderful.

HP's early ventures into business class computers could have been more spectacular if they had only been a bit less conservative. The early designs for the HP3000 were well beyond anything IBM had on the drawing board, but the technology to make the hardware was beyond the comfort zone of HP at the time and it was draining the bank (HP had always self financed everything). Unlike IBM, which mortgaged the entire company to finance the 360 series, HP scaled back the design and delivered a significantly less powerful machine. If they had stayed the course of the original design, I believe the it could have been a two horse race in the mainframe world.

HP used to believe in itself, just as Apple does today. They did not do focus groups, they simply designed and built machines and devices that they themselves wanted and needed, again like Apple. They focused on quality and delivering an end user experience that transcended all others, much as Apple does today. They understood their audience better than their audience understood themselves, again Apple comes to mind. If HP could not find a vendor that met HP's quality, cost and reliability expectations, they would create and build it themselves just as Apple does today. In many ways, Apple is the heir to what HP once was.

Could HP rediscover its soul? I think it is possible, but I question if the company, as it exists today, has the intestinal fortitude to take the steps necessary.

David T
post #64 of 130
HP had an amazing golden egg -- WebOS, and they just threw it against the wall and let it slowly slide down to trash can.

While Apple is the most inspiring story of the century, HP might be the saddest.
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
post #65 of 130
Every company has a life span. It starts with an idea. It starts with an innovator. The first people to run the company have one thing in mind - product. They have vision. Usually, their successor shares some of that vision, but tends to focus more on financial matters. As time passes, those that take the helm tend to worry more about stock prices, stock options, their 401K, etc.. Many companies even get raped by later CEO's, who sell off everything that made the company what it is, and make it nothing more than a shell company, all while cashing in on enormous stock options and inflated pay. But at that point, the company exists in name only. Usually, their fate is either to spiral out of business, or to get bought out or merge with a younger player in the market.

Apple avoided this in the end, because it got back the very person who had the original vision. He still had that hunger to innovate...to make waves...to be and do something more, beyond mere financial success. Steve Jobs turned the company around by refocusing it on product, and adding in services to compliment those products. He brought back innovation.

HP is stuck in a downward spiral. How long ago was it that they actually innovated anything at all? They got in bed with Microsoft, who basically made them into commodity maker. And what happens to commodity makers? Either they get beat out by the lowest cost producer, or the margins become so thin, they cannot sustain a business model.

For years, the commodity makers told Apple they were doing it all wrong. But, in the end, with the right direction, Apple proved them wrong. Now, Dell, HP, and all the big name commodity PC makers are in trouble.
post #66 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Talent. Talent. Talent.

Meg was turned down for work at Apple.

HP stopped being considered innovative around 1994.

Sun Engineers I used to eat lunch with wanted to work at NeXT and later Apple.

SUN at its peak (circa 1990's) was far more innovative than NeXT. If you recall, neither NeXT or Apple did well until NeXT was bought by Apple in late 1990's - Apple in particular was on the verge of collapse. NeXT as we know was an insignificant player in Unix market, never approached anywhere close to SUN's marketshare. I can't imagine anyone wanting to work for NeXT.

Quote:
It starts at the top. You cannot create a Steve Jobs. You cannot create a Jony Ivy.

Jon Ivy maybe, but if everything starts at the top, why didn't NeXT amount to anything?

Quote:
Very few companies have natural leaders. Lots of narcissism, but very little leadership.

Imagination and a high aesthetic for taste and how to shape it is not taught. You discover it or your do not. Lots of friends come from various engineering, liberal arts and business backgrounds.

All talented to do tasks, when a solid vision is in place. Creating that vision is an entirely different ball of wax. It either surfaces as a child and grows from there as you get older or it does not.

Meg couldn't lead a creative, highly driven engineering vision to fruition due to having none of these qualities in her.

Odd, weird and unique were all qualities described of Steve as he grew up and developed Apple, then NeXT, PIXAR and back at Apple.

We all know that NeXT was a big "meh"..

As for Pixar, Jobs said there were lots of A-players at Pixar, whereas in Apple, there were many B-player and even C players. Likewise, Pixar's "creative" crews pretty much run the ship while he was taking a back sit.
post #67 of 130
Apple's products have always been better than their competition. But they did nearly go bankrupt in the 90's, didn't they? So it can't be just the products.
post #68 of 130
I always ask myself why I can't have Brad Pitt's looks, Mark Zuckerberg's money, or Colin Farrell's harem.

I don't have an answer. Why would HP?
post #69 of 130
Square pegs and round holes

Getting someone to fill the shoes of Mr. Jobs perfectly is impossible. Apple may come close but it shall not be the same neither should it be. However some of Apple's present leadership still has the vision Steve left in his passing. Will that change yes eventually. Hopefully that shall be long in the future.

Asking a Meg Whitman or anyone else for that type of devotion and love of their field is impossible. Those types of people are far and few between. In my almost 70 years there have been a few 5 to 10. Certainly Mrs. Whitman is not one of them. When she took over at eBay I had great hopes. In my humble opinion she let eBay and herself down. I began using eBay just prior to her coming to them. One got the sense eBay cared for Buyers and Sellers, more importantly for eBay. As the years rolled by that is all gone now eBay does not care about anything or anyone.

So I do not think Mrs Whitman has the Talent or the drive to change HP . The first thing which has to change is not HP, but something which is a little closer to Meg Whitman.
post #70 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

SUN at its peak (circa 1990's) was far more innovative than NeXT. If you recall, neither NeXT or Apple did well until NeXT was bought by Apple in late 1990's - Apple in particular was on the verge of collapse. NeXT as we know was an insignificant player in Unix market, never approached anywhere close to SUN's marketshare. I can't imagine anyone wanting to work for NeXT.



Jon Ivy maybe, but if everything starts at the top, why didn't NeXT amount to anything?



We all know that NeXT was a big "meh"..

As for Pixar, Jobs said there were lots of A-players at Pixar, whereas in Apple, there were many B-player and even C players. Likewise, Pixar's "creative" crews pretty much run the ship while he was taking a back sit.

We don't "all know" that NeXT was a failure.

What we DO know is that it was an unprecedented success. It was Jobs's "Years in Exile" doing his homework, preparing for his return to the infrastructure baseApplethat NeXT needed to become OS X. As a hardware company, NeXT taught Jobs one final lesson about overdesigning and overpricing, which he quickly applied when he returned to Apple and hooked up with Ive.

The first candy-colored iMac was Jobs's redemption for his NeXT hardware and marketing excesses. OS X applied to new Mac hardware was his complete vindication.

I wouldn't try to rewrite history around here with that degree of cynicism.
post #71 of 130
Why isn't HP more like Apple? I'll give you my view.

When I passed the CPA exam in the early 80's, I treated myself to an HP 12-C business calculator. It was an awesome piece of hardware and the consumate calculator for accounting folks. I still have it and it still works fine. I recently purchased HP's newer version which has a couple extra financial functions. This one was made in China and the buttons don't always register like my original one made in the US.

The bigger issue though? The one made in 2011 looks exactly like the one made in 1982. The LCD screen is still flat and reflects overhead office lighting (my one gripe about the 12-C design). Now, the insides may have changed, but in nearly 30 years, there is virtually zero innovation in that product. I think the marketing guys call that a cash cow. Well, now that cow is just skin and bones and HP is starving.
Anthracite
Reply
Anthracite
Reply
post #72 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] individuals grilled CEO Meg Whitman on why the company isn't as innovative and successful as Silicon Valley neighbor and rival Apple. [...]

Wrong question.

The right question is: "Why aren't there any intelligent life forms on HP's board of directors?"

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply
post #73 of 130
If your R&D team fails to understand the value of thunderbolt over USB 3 I think it's time you rotate some leadership. HP was run for too many years by profiteers, Apple in contrast has succeeded on the back of visioneers.
post #74 of 130
My only experience with HP products is its laser printers, which IMHO have the worst paper path technology on the market. However, the high end HP Indigo printers are generally pretty good, especially the new model. The biggest knock I have against those is the propriety and non-editable look up tables.
post #75 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcallows View Post

Apple's products have always been better than their competition. But they did nearly go bankrupt in the 90's, didn't they? So it can't be just the products.

It's not "just the products" but rather they're not reliant upon anyone else. Apple's products are not commodities. They have their own unique OS and unique eco-system. Apple has the ability to steer its own ship. That's not the case with HP and other players like Samsung. When the OS is outsourced through Google or Microsoft, you're left with a commodity product, and with all commodities, either differentiate your product to justify higher prices, or be the low-cost leader. Most companies, like HP, have chosen to chase the latter. Eventually, either the margins become to slim or they simply can't compete with lower cost providers.

Apple's products were the problem back then, in that they were priced too high, used too many proprietary parts that kept costs too high, and there was a lack of work put into the OS, which made it rather arcane at the time. I remember System 7.2 crashing a lot. A single app could bring down the entire system and force a reboot. It was not pretty. Many commercially used systems simply made each Mac an island, keeping it trimmed of any excess applications that weren't necessary to do the task at hand to prevent hiccups. The hardware was beginning to look old, too. The Mac Classic still had the basic form of the original 1984 Mac, and it was 1996 by then. There were too many offerings that cut margins too thin. Remember there were the Classic, LC, Performa, Quadra, Centris, Powerbook, Powerbook Duo... Too many variations. Jobs cut this to PowerMac and iMac, and Macbook lines. He simplified everything. Again, it's about product. He killed the clones, moved forward on a new, modern OS, and gave us pretty fruit colored iMacs to water our mouths. He simplified hardware around industry standard USB, Firewire, PCI slots, etc. to keep costs down not only for Apple, but for 3rd party hardware manufacturers as well. Again...product. He made an alliance with Satan, himself, to make sure his company would continue development of Office, which was considered at the time as a must have piece of software to continue viability. Again...product. Then he gave us iTunes...iPod...iPhone...iPad...iCloud... Again...product.

Many "turnaround" CEOs tend to focus on the product. They focus on two key areas: Design, and manufacturing. They tend to push the company toward strong, bold designs that get the potential buyers interested. They streamline manufacturing and simplify lineups. This is exactly what Mulally has done at Ford. He's given us the European Fords that have done so well over there, improved the offerings immensely in the market, and streamlined production by having basically many of the same vehicles sold globally instead of unique vehicles for each market. But, as Mulally has said, if the company focuses on the product and delivers the kind of product the market wants, the stock will take care of itself.
post #76 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

This is too easy, HP isn't in love with their products.

Why can't I draw like Picasso?
Why can't I do physics like Einstein ?
Why can't I play tennis more like Nadal?
Why cant Obama be more like Clinton?
post #77 of 130
HPs Z1 all in one allows easy and full access to all the components. If HP can bring similar innovation to the rest of its products it could improve its sales. It will never be another Apple as long as it uses Windows but it could improve.

I hope Apple takes a look at the Z1 and realize that there are people using OSX that would like to have easy to open Macs.
post #78 of 130
Oh ! stop it ! If any CEO accomplishments have to be compared with those of Steve, the position is too hard ! This is torture, really !
post #79 of 130
Point to be considered is that Apple could become like HP if Cook and Co. get complacent or rest on their laurels. With Jobs at the helm this was a complete impossibility but Cook has already demonstrtated that he is more about business than Jobs was. That could be both good and bad, just saying.
post #80 of 130
I work with their Big Data product, Vertica, is pretty awesome.

Granted, their revenues relative to HP overall is probably low. But Vertica is pretty great.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › HP shareholders question why company isn't more like Apple