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Business Ideas – How to Build a Business the HP Way by Evan Carmichael
Evan Carmichael discusses how you can build a business like Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, founders of one of the world’s largest information technology companies, Hewlett-Packard.
“Believe you can change the world.” — Bill Hewlett
Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were university friends who graduated in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1935. Eager to become entrepreneurs, Packard and Hewlett established Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 1939 in Packard’s garage with all the startup money they could put together – a grand total of US$538. They then tossed a coin to decide whether the company would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.
60 years after its founding, HP has developed a reputation for innovative and reliable products and in 2009 had revenue of $115 billion, making it one of the largest companies in the world.
Action Item #1: Think About More Than Money
Hewlett and Packard believed that a business had a purpose beyond just making money. Businesses had responsibilities to employees, customers, and the community at large. It was a controversial viewpoint in the 1940s but many of the management practices that are now standard in many work environments were pioneered by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard.
Some of the initiatives they launched included: worker bonuses based on productivity, profit sharing plans, flex-time schedules, companywide health-insurance, pay cuts and Fridays off instead of layoffs in hard times, addressing everybody in the company by their first names, having an open-door policy, and creating a wall-free environment to encourage teamwork and the flow of ideas.
As an entrepreneur you have to worry about money and making enough to first survive and then build a lasting company – but don’t make it your only priority. Remember to think about the people who work for you, the people who buy from you, and the rest of your community to make your business a force for good. Strangely enough when you focus on helping these people around you, the money comes in on its own.
Action Item #2: Adopt a Survival Mentality
The early days of a new business can be challenging. You may not be selling the right product or service and you rarely hit the targets that you set for yourself. This is where it’s crucial to adopt a survival mentality – listen to your customers until you find the product or service that will really solve their problems and in turn help you build a lasting business.
When Bill Hewlett talked about the early days of Hewlett-Packard he said: “We were just opportunistic. We made a bowling alley foul-line indicator, a clock drive for a telescope, a thing to make a urinal flush automatically, and a shock machine to make people lose weight. We did anything to bring in a nickel.”
The best way to build a business is around customers with problems who will pay you to solve them. Adopt a survival mentality like Hewlett and Packard and look for opportunities to help your customers. In the midst of solving their problems you’ll find a business idea that you can build into a successful and enduring company.
Action Item #3: Make Innovation a Part of Everything You Do
For a business to succeed today it needs to always be thinking about what’s next and how it can innovate. If you can offer a more innovative solution that your competitors don’t have yet it can be your chance to win new business and grow your company.
In HP’s early years, Hewlett and Packard had made one rule, above all the others, the golden rule: To encourage innovation, no parts bins or storerooms should ever be locked. To outsiders, this was a mind-boggling phenomenon. Visitors to the company’s headquarters would be shocked that millions of dollars worth of parts and equipment were lying around free for anyone to use, and nobody ever suspected anyone else of theft.
Are you innovating enough with your business? Do you take time every week to think about ways to make your product or service better? Follow Hewlett and Packard’s lead and stay on the cutting edge of technology and your customers and pocketbook will thank you for it!
Do you have a management philosophy that guides your business? What are the core beliefs that define your company beyond simply making money? As always, I’ve love to hear your thoughts if you leave a comment below!
Judy MacDonald Johnston: Prepare for a good end of life
Thinking about death is frightening, but planning ahead is practical and leaves more room for peace of mind in our final days. In a solemn, thoughtful talk, Judy MacDonald Johnston shares 5 practices for planning for a good end of life.
By day, Judy MacDonald develops children’s reading programs. By night, she helps others maintain their quality of life as they near death.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
Judy MacDonald Johnston is the Publisher and Cofounder of Blue Lake Children’s Publishing, which develops educational reading tools for preschoolers through a program called the Tessy and Tab Reading Club. Johnston’s credo, “love words early,” and her focus on the earliest years of life, is an interesting foil for her other passion: Planning for end of life. Johnston’s side project, Good [End of] Life, deals not with happy babies decoding symbols, but with a much more morbid topic: Death. Good [End of] Life is a set of online worksheets and practices that aim to help deal with difficult questions — like who should speak for you if you cannot speak, and whether to fill out a do-not-resuscitate form — before it’s too late.
In the past 15 years alone Johnston has founded two other companies in addition to Blue Lake Children’s Publishing: PrintPaks, a children’s software company, and Kibu, a social networking site for teenage girls. Previously Johnston was a Worldwide Project Marketing Manager at Hewlett Packard.
“[Johnston]’s leveraged every single advantage she’s been given into creating a hundred times that for others, never holding tight to wisdom or resources, but investing them where they’ll do the most good next.” from 50-for-50
Mark Hurd, CEO, Hewlett-Packard – Haas School
Mark Hurd, CEO, President, and Chair of Hewlett-Packard, speaks as part of the Deans Speaker Series at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Since taking the helm of HP in early 2005, Hurd has sharpened the company’s focus on key growth opportunities, increasing revenue from $80 billion in fiscal year 2004 to $118.4 billion in fiscal 2008. (October 8, 2009)
The University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business is one of the world’s leading producers of new ideas and knowledge in all areas of business – which includes the distinction of having two of its faculty members receive the Nobel Prize in Economics over the past 15 years. The school offers six degree-granting programs. Its mission is to develop innovative business leaders – individuals who redefine how we do business by putting new ideas into action, and who do so responsibly. The school’s distinctive culture is defined by four key principles – question the status quo; confidence without attitude; students always; and, beyond yourself.
Former HP Boss Faced ‘Tough Choices‘
Carly Fiorina tells audience to be hands-on: If you don’t understand people, you cannot influence them.
For five and a half years, Carly Fiorina led Hewlett-Packard through major internal changes, the worst technology slump in decades, and the most controversial merger in high-tech history. Yet just as things were about to turn around, she was abruptly fired, making front-page news around the world.
Fiorina has been the subject of endless debate and speculation. But she has never spoken publicly about crucial details of her time at HP, about the mysterious circumstances of her firing, or about many other aspects of her landmark career. Until now.
In this extraordinarily candid memoir, she reveals the private person behind the public persona. She shares her triumphs and failures, her deepest fears and most painful confrontations. She shows us what it was like to be an ambitious young woman at stodgy old AT&T and then a fast- track executive during the spin-off of Lucent Technologies. Above all, she describes how she drove the transformation of legendary but deeply troubled HP, in the face of fierce opposition.
One of Fiorina’s big themes is that in the end business isn’t just about numbers; it’s about people. This book goes beyond the caricature of the “powerful woman executive” to show who she really is and what the rest of us “male or female, in business or not” can learn from the tough choices she made along the way.
What organization, founded in 1948 by a passionate entrepreneur and twelve loyal team members, grew to become one of the largest enterprises in the world? Today it has operations in over 100 countries, includes over 1 million team members, has raised and deployed billions of dollars in capital, and is one of the most recognized brands in history.
How did this nun with no formal business training create a global brand, become a powerful fund-raising and public relations magnet, and lead a worldwide organization through every phase of growth over the course of forty-seven years? What were her secrets?
When we shift our lens and view Mother Teresa from a leadership perspective, a wonderful success story emerges, one filled with inspiration, life lessons, and impact.
Ruma Bose spent time in Calcutta working as a volunteer with Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity in 1992. Over time, she discovered that Mother Teresa’s success resulted from the careful application of eight simple and unexpected principles.
Through the pages of this book you will have the unique opportunity to learn these principles, share Bose’s experience with Mother Teresa, and discover how to apply Mother Teresa’s principles whether on a single project, throughout an organization, or in your life.
Modern, well-timed, and humane, Mother Teresa, CEO helps you discover how you don’t have to be a saint to be a great leader!