07 June 2015

HP's The Machine v.2.0 - It's all about the people, silly


I don't care a whit about this development technically. What I would like to read is a study of how this happened. Hopefully, BusinessWeek will have something. Heads should role among the senior business and technology people, not because they are bad, but to preserve their honor and bushido. Junior people should ask themselves why they didn't see this coming, or feel vindicated if they did. Probably 50% of the staff should turn over, but probably won't because that is the problem w/ HP. If they'd have hired me at the beginning as the Project Curmudgeon, I could have told them it was gonna go this way. Maybe. :O)

We live in an age of miracles, but when it comes to corporate effectiveness it, is SSDD. Just like the platform for the Singularity will be available long before we know what it means to be and to  build a human, we will have all these cool pieces to build a company without much idea how to do it. Fortunately, the survival-of-the-fittest approach for companies works pretty well for investors, employees, customers and society. There are some current candidates for a survivable companies but it takes a long time to tell. My daughter, Diane, is trying to stake her design career on it, which kinda brings tears to my eyes.

Should companies have term limits for executives? It seems to be working wonders in politics. 

At Ping Identity, I learned from the young engineers that they expected to only work 3 to 5 years at any company. They expected then to update their LinkedIn with a link to a demonstrable project, hopefully in the Wikipedia, building a bread trail of increasing relevance and coolness.They looked on it like going to graduate school. I have now realized that one aspect of my career is that I changed jobs relatively often for someone in my cohort. Five to ten years seemed to be about my range. Doing it a little more often might have been a good idea. I worked with all these amazing people at ACIW who had been there 20+ years. None of them could understand why the company had gone off the rails. I just shook my head. Fortunately some of the best have escaped and found a new job.

1 comment:

Zincman said...

HP's machine: yes a big disappointment. But perhaps I should have expected it. If you look at the history of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR). It was first proved possible back in 1976 and then commercially implemented in 2005. We now have multi-terabyte disks because of it - but it took 30 years of work. Every year the hope was that the manufacturing problems would be solved "in five years."

So, defined in 1971, HP showed how memristors could be built in 2008. But that is only when serious work on manufacturing began. So if we need to wait for 30 years for manufacturing solutions to be developed, we won't see them till 2038.

Barbara Tuchman defined "folly" as knowing a direction is bad and still going that way. Those spending money at HP, I'm sure, are desperate. They MUST have new billion-dollar products to survive. So wishes replaced rationality. I am sure they evaluated the manufacturing problems at Hynix (who HP asked to make the memristors) and told HP what it would take. HP, I am sure, went with their wishes.