Frustration Friday: In Which I Vent On HP

OK, I sort of held back on HP's decision to uh . . . give up on everything they were known for.  I wasn't sure what to say, and then I realized that what I had to say was more yelling and venting than actual rational analysis.  I'm OK with this because as far as I can tell they really arent being overly rational.

Our own Rob Barba gave us a very rational discussion.  Of course I'm going to provide the counterpoint – not by arguing with him, but dipping fully into my ID and splattering it on the blog.  But you know, in a professional manager.

So, HP, seriously, the hell?

Let's round up:

Look I am no fan of HP hardware.  In fact, I don't and didn't buy HP because I had a lot of problems with them, felt they were overrated, and made tetchy hardware.  I think they'd lost their mojo awhile ago, but they did do hardware, and I could see them eventually not sucking again.

They won't get a chance to get my business back now because apparently they're giving up on hardware.

HP.  Does.  Hardware.

OK.  HP.  Did.  Hardware.

So CEO Apotheker basically seems to be turning HP into a software/OS/service company, which jettisons decades of knowledge, experience, partnerships, and talents.  The goal of this is . . .

 . . . er, OK I'm not sure what he's trying to do.  Saving HP by making it not HP or something.  Look, it's clear he doesn't know what he's doing.

HP had a nice big stock drop and it's apparent no one thinks they're going to save themselves.  I sense a kind of morbid curiosity and surrender in the markets and in the technosphere.

And the takeaway for this – beyond don't make a hardware company into a software company for no good reasons – is that the CEO is nto always right, because there's no way I can think Apotheker knows what he's doing.

Ever wonder how companies can make terrible decisions?  Ever wonder how these massive stupidities occur?  Ever look at the steaming wreck of the banking sysem and wonder how someone high can steer his company into the shoals of incompetence and criminality?  Yeah.  It happens.

My take on Apotheker (and those directly under him) is they seriously Do Not Get it.  But mired in business politics, abstract from the real world, they're going to crash HP.  Just like plenty of other clueless CEOs have destroyed their companies (and of course the ones that do their jobs don't get noticed because people see the failures).

So I'm pretty sure HP is going to crash and get bought.  Let's hope people learn from this because it's gonna be a big one.

Guess I won't be buying HP ever again – but not via my own choice.

Steven Savage