Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 22AUG11

August 22, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

HP has been wandering in a wilderness that it was not passionate about and, this past week, it all has come home to roost.

When you look at HP’s product development over the past decade, what blockbuster innovations has HP brought to the marketplace?  I can’t think of any.  Lots of undifferentiated commodity products.

When HP bought Compaq nearly a decade ago, there was dissent within the board of directors over whether this acquisition made sense.  In the end, it didn’t. HP is looking to move on from that business.

When HP bought PALM and its WebOS a year ago, HP saw a path into a business segment where it had no traction or stellar history: smartphones and tablet computers to compete with Apple and Android phones.  HP is moving on from that business.  There were 275,000 HP tablets shipped to retailers; 25,000 sold in the first month.  Apple sold 3 million iPads in the first 80 days after its launch in April of 2010.

The lessons learned will be fodder for business school case studies for years to come.  Here are a few:

  • Bring demonstrable value, not a commodity, to the marketplace
  • Never go to market with an inferior product
  • HP leadership should never have allowed its tablet device to see the light of day
  • Be passionate about what you bring to the marketplace–it says a lot about what kind of company you are

In this moment, HP teaches us what not to do. By seeing this and understanding it, others can thrive by avoiding making the same mistake.

Thought for the week:

“Either you innovate or you’re in commodity hell.” – Sam Palmisano, IBM Chairman & CEO, one year before IBM sold its PC business to Lenovo in 2005

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!


Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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