HP shareholders question why company isn't more like Apple



  • Reply 61 of 129
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    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.
  • Reply 62 of 129
    dtidmoredtidmore Posts: 144member
    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
  • Reply 63 of 129
    ivladivlad Posts: 742member
    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.
  • Reply 64 of 129
    ruel24ruel24 Posts: 432member
    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.
  • Reply 65 of 129
    tooltalktooltalk Posts: 766member
    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.


    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?


    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.
  • Reply 66 of 129
    jcallowsjcallows Posts: 149member
    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.
  • Reply 67 of 129
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    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?
  • Reply 68 of 129
    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.
  • Reply 69 of 129
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    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 base?Apple?that 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.
  • Reply 70 of 129
    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.
  • Reply 71 of 129
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    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?"
  • Reply 72 of 129
    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.
  • Reply 73 of 129
    dualiedualie Posts: 334member
    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.
  • Reply 74 of 129
    ruel24ruel24 Posts: 432member
    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.
  • Reply 75 of 129
    drax7drax7 Posts: 38member
    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?
  • Reply 76 of 129
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    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.
  • Reply 77 of 129
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member
    Oh ! stop it ! If any CEO accomplishments have to be compared with those of Steve, the position is too hard ! This is torture, really !
  • Reply 78 of 129
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    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.
  • Reply 79 of 129
    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.
  • Reply 80 of 129
    bedouinbedouin Posts: 331member
    Gteat job touting the company line with meaningless replies. These are the kind of answers Sarah Palin gives because she has no original or noteworthy ideas in her head.

    Now you know why McCain considered her at one point as a running mate. At least Palin was easy on the eyes.
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