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Bill and Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company Paperback – Bargain Price, March 25, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591841879
  • ASIN: B001G8WMHO
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,427,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The best account so far of the lives of the two men who started Silicon Valley and created many of its lasting traditions and institutions.”
—San Jose Mercury News

“Malone delivers an abundance of depth and detail in a thoroughly readable manner … his account of the two tech titans and the world they made has a fresh feel throughout.”
—The Washington Post

“Malone has produced a biography, management guidebook, and business history, all in one.”
—BusinessWeek

“Malone does the legacy of Hewlett and Packard a great service with this book. I hope it inspires a whole new generation of entrepreneurs to rise to the standards set by these two remarkable leaders.”
—Jim Collins, author, Good to Great

About the Author

MICHAEL S. MALONE, a Silicon Valley native, is one of AmericaÂ’s most distinguished technology journalists. The former editor of Forbes ASAP and currently a popular Web columnist for ABC, he has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Wired, and Fast Company magazines. Among his books are The Big Score, The Virtual Corporation, Infinite Loop, and Intellectual Capital.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul McClellan on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This provided me a thorough coverage of the backgrounds and personalities of Bill Hewlett and David Packard, the history of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and the context within which the management philosophy known as the "HP Way" evolved. However, I noted some factual errors, most significantly that the development and commercialization of HP's thermal ink jet printer business was led by the Corvallis and Vancouver sites, not Dick Hackborn and the Boise site as described here. I don't know whether the author was misled by his sources or blind-sided by his own biases, some of which seem obvious. Overall, I found this a valuable source of insight to help me better understand the company I have had the privilege of working for over nearly 30 years.
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Format: Paperback
I've gained new respect for Hewlitt and Packard after reading this enjoyable book. It is obviously a biography and the author also fancies it as a "textbook" for a business course. I'm not so sure about the later, but as long as you ignore the references of each "business lesson" (over 300) to the appendix in the back, its easy enough to skip that altogether. Having worked in Silicon Valley myself, I enjoyed the description of the setting back at that particular time being described and contrasted it to what the Valley was when I was there. The book is organized into decades, each chapter being assigned one decade in the history of Bill, Dave, and the company.

It does not get too deep into technical jargon, but it doesn't give much description of what an audio oscillator is either... just that its useful and that Hewlitt Packard had the best one. So, the lay person can read this without getting lost in technical discussions, however a tiny bit of appreciation will have been missed too. Particularly interesting was the story of Wozinak pitching a personal computer to Bill and Dave and being rejected. This is actually analyzed as to whether HP would have been the right company to bring what later became the Apple to market or not.

Finally, although discussed in the book, I wish even more would have been added to discuss the "Carly" years. I had friends working at HP then, but I never knew what was going on inside... perhaps they didn't either.
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Format: Paperback
Cognizant that saying this may well sound ungracious, if not heretical, the recent well-deserved paeans to Steve Jobs tactfully omit the fact that in all he accomplished, he stood on the shoulders of giants. This is not to belittle what he accomplished. He created one industry, disrupted several others, created products that inspired the fierce loyalty of millions of consumers (myself included), and set in motion careers, companies, and trends that will define the foreseeable future. But Steve Jobs did not spontaneously self-generate. Everything he became, everything he accomplished, he was able to do because other men and women had passed that way before. The Apple II, the Macintosh, NEXT, Pixar, OS X, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, and iTunes were his products.

But Jobs himself was the product of Silicon Valley: the place, the ecosystem, and the attitudes that combined to give this powerful, unique, and ultimately fragile wizard the place to create electronic magic.

As supporting evidence for my heresy I offer Michael Malone's engaging biography of the founders of Hewlett-Packard, "Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company." It is hard for most of us to recall the days when HP was the glowing heart of Silicon Valley, especially as the latest in a long string of outsiders attempts to save the company from the consequences of misguided leadership. But in telling the story of the two proto-geeks-cum-billionaires, Malone reminds us why Hewlett and Packard deserve to stand above the Silicon Valley milieu as both icons and role models.

To be sure, the environs south of San Francisco have been engineering hotbeds since just after Governor and Mrs. Leland Stanford turned their Palo Alto farm into a college.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just noticed that -- prior to my writing this -- there was only one review of this paperback version of this book and that review was only 3 stars. I feel that this is really unfair because (at the time of my writing this) the hardback version has 23 reviews with an average of 4.5 stars.

So I just wanted to say that I have the paperback version of the book and I thought is was a fantastic read. It was fascinating to learn about Bill and Dave as people, and also as to how they build HP and constantly kept on re-defining it as it grew and the market changed. Apart from the fact that it's an interesting tale, it should be required reading for managers of any company.

I strongly recommend this book for anyone.
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