An HP Prescription

11 February 2005

What should HP do now? Each of the following:

  1. Talk to the 151,000 employees. Talk to the ones who were fired. These people have answers for the Board, for the new CEO and for their co-workers.
  2. Over-engineer everything as in the past. It wasn’t so bad when HP was known as just a bunch of engineers who didn’t know how to market anything!
  3. Analyze specific statistics for the last thirty days of calls to any foreign call center. Examine carefully each customer’s experience. How many buttons did they have to push? How long did they wait to talk to someone? How many times and how long were they put on hold? How many times did they have to have something repeated?
  4. Strengthen your joint design/development work with Apple. Determine why Palm languishes and your calculators and handheld devices are no longer the pride of the company. Resume work on handhelds independent of industry standards. Make HP the standard.
  5. Become a resource for desktop Linux. Talk to Novell. Talk to Apple. Decide how HP can get out of me-too products in the PC industry.
  6. Assess the impact of the Agilent spin-off before doing anything. Agilent was the largest IPO in Silicon Valley’s history when it went public in 1999. The technologies in that company put HP on the map.
  7. Manage with facts. Don’t assume your focus should be on Dell.
  8. Drop any product which isn’t #1 or #2 in its field and simplify each product line. More than good-better-best confuses customers.

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