Monday, September 10, 2007

The HP way

This book was handed over to all the new recruits when we joined HP. This is written by David Packard, one of the founding fathers of the Company. The HP way is a set of ideologies which was framed by the founding fathers as early as 1957 when no other company had even thought of it.hp way considers both the employees and customers as equally important and one of the speeches given by Bill Hewlett in 1960 to a set of new joiners states exactly that.

The book starts of with David Packard recounting his childhood days and his friendship with Bill Hewlett during their college days at stanford.The group consisting of Bill, Dave, Ed porter and barney registered for the class by fred terman which eventually turned out to be a turning point in life. After the college days Packard joined GE for a short stint while Hewlett did his masters in MIT and both started their company officially in 1939 in a small garage in Palo Alto.This garage now has become a historical monument and is called as the birthplace of the silicon valley.

HP initially concentrated on oscillators, High frequency counters, video/audio parts and microwave products. The HP desktop calculator marked the beginning of the digital era and later it plunged into the computer industry. Some of the path breaking HP's invention at that time includes the usage of caesium for accurate measurement of time pulses,LED's, very High frequency counters, etc.Since this book is written way back in 1995 not much information about computer development is given.

When the company grew the founding fathers came up with many management styles which have become the benchmark of many companies these days. Some of them like sharing the profit with the employees, Management by walking around, Management by objective are a path-ahead in the 1950s. HP's Open door policy resonates even today as even the Managers or VP sits in open cubicles without any door like every other employee in HP.It is said that the Legacy, the founding fathers left behind is not just the 100 billion dollar company but the HP way.

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