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The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company (Collins Business Essentials) Paperback – January 3, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Collins Business Essentials
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; Reprint edition (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060845791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060845797
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In a dry fashion, Packard tells the true story of the mighty Hewlett-Packard Company: Two college buddies begin a partnership by producing an audio oscillator in a Palo Alto garage in 1938 and wind up 60 years later with a $25-billion-dollar electronics company on their hands. He wraps the book up tidily with a timeline of the company's development milestones. Packard chalks up success to many things, including government contracts during wartime, but mostly to the company's management outlook ("The HP Way"), which champions openness, honesty, and flexibility throughout the organization. Entrepreneurs and technologists alike will be interested in this journey of an American giant. Packard's tone sometimes veers toward the self-congratulatory, but in this case, it somehow seems justified. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Hewlett-Packard is a high-tech company with over $25 billion in sales; the Hewlett-Packard way has obviously been quite successful. Here, one of the company's founders tells the story of its growth. Packard frequently becomes nostalgic, such as when talking about his first vacuum tube. He explains why Hewlett-Packard follows strong management practices: management by objectives, educational subsidies for employees, profit sharing, and giving authority to employees closest to the customers. Packard also served as a Defense Department official and in doing so chose to give $20 million to charity to avoid ethical conflicts. The company history Packard relates is, however, an uncritical review. The cassettes, narrated by Martin Bookspan, are of limited use because they offer little discussion of ideas that a person in business might adopt. Not an important purchase.?Mark Guyer, Stark Cty. Dist. Lib., Canton, Ohio
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A great insight into the evolution of one of the US 's wonderful companies.
Iven Downey
Bill Hewlett and David Packard created one of the worlds most admired companies in the world.
A. Petrotchenkov
What stands out in the HP Way is the deep commitment and belief in values and principles.
O. Halabieh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
They say engineers (myself included) are generally poor writers; then David Packard must be an absolute genius. David Packard's book (as has his company been one) is an important contribution and a must read for company executives. But it does require patience and dedication -- like the one he and Bill Hewlette had to endure to make HP a success! Once you get through the first 6 or 7 chapters the book becomes and absolute GEM. Until then -- and unfortunately you almost have to read the first few chapters -- the book is a positive cure for sleeplessness. HP's dedication to innovation, its financial frugality (which shows up in Dave Packard not hiring a good ghost writer or editor) and the importance of Management by Objectives, Decenterlized Organization, and Management by Walkign Around, Expected Returns on R&D are only some of the Gems hidden in this book; but you do have to mine to get to them and IMHO it is a worthwhile pain to go through. What also comes through is how HP slipped their biggest chance of dominating the chip and computer market by not taking the risk and cancelling the OMEGA project. Reading David Packard's fatalistic justifications is worth 10 times the price of the book. Also little credit is given to the inventor of the calculator that made HP a house hold name, and no mention is made of procurement of Appolo(until in Appendix 2)!!! Admittedly, I am at fault for having difficulty with this book. I read it after reading "Hard Drive, Bill Gatees and the Making of Microsoft Empire" by Jamve Wallace and Jim Erickson. These gentlemen are professional writers/journalists that know how to grab ones attention and keep it.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on March 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Heard the recorded version of THE HP WAY: HOW BILL
HEWLETT AND I BUILT OUR COMPANY by David Packard

I found it fascinating to learn how these two college friends decided
to start their own company in 1939 out of a one-car garage in Palo
Alto, California (that has now become a historic landmark: the
birthplace of Silicon Valley) . . . from those humble beginnings,
Hewlett-Packard has grown to become one of the world's most
admired technology corporations.

What made this book stand out for me was the fact that in
learning about the HP history, you also found out what
Hewlett and Packard both did to make their company one where
employees would actually enjoy working at . . . they did
this by holding such beliefs as the following:

* A guiding principle at HP: Get the best people, stress
teamwork and get employees fired up to work there.

* Personal communication was often necessary to back up
written communication.

* Much of the success was from management by walking
around.

* Individuals need to be treated with consideration and respect.

* People need the challenge to be their best, to realize their
potential and to be recognized for their achievements.

* Personnel's job is to support management, not to supplant it.

* The betterment of our society is not a job to be limited to a
few; it is a responsibility to be shared by all.

After reading THE HP WAY, my only regret is that more organizations
don't get founded by such progressive thinkers as Bill Hewlett and
David Packard . . . though both dead, their legacies live in the
continuing success of the Hewlett-Packard Company.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott L. Lewis on March 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Considering that an electrial engineer like David Packard could have written a, boring, detailed account of how he and Bill Hewlett pieced together their very first piece of equipment in the now famous Pal Alto, California garage. This book surprises you with its simple down to earth account of how it all began and how they built this tiny garage shop into the multi billion dollar company that it is today. They did it not only with a strong belief in new and innovative products, but in the people that helped build the company. This simple belief built the foundation into the HP way of corporate greatness.
The book was simply written, but it is this style that allowed me to understand the friendship between David Packard and Bill Hewlett and the corporate culture that they developed at HP. I would recommend this book to anyone that is a manager or executive to benchmark the corporate culture that HP established or applaud yourself if you have already embraced the HP Way. I trully believe, as David Packard and Bill Hewlett did, that you need a strong belief in people to make a company succeed.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful business classic that should be read and studied by everyone interested in business. David Packard and Bill Hewlett created one of the great American companies and that alone is worth knowing. That it is one of the great foundations of Silicon Valley is another reason that you need to know this story. However, as far as I am concerned, the most important reason to know this story is the set of principles these two men used in founding, building, and running their company.

While they were technically brilliant men, they were also geniuses in gathering and grooming talent. However, their ability to inspire amazing loyalty in their employees is something that seems all but lost in our modern age of disposable firms and transient employment. They pioneered open plan offices (few walls and no doors), management by walking around, and much more. They had profit sharing from the very beginning. Not only did they have annual company picnics, they also bought a camp for use by employees. I know there are many reasons for the transition to where we are now, but I still have to ask if we really are better off today than we were then. Well, are we?

The stories about the development of various products are all interesting, but the stories are all in the service of illustrating the principles he is trying to get across. His emphasis on conservative financing is well aware of the use many companies make of leverage. The rejection of Wall Street's focus on the present quarter is heartfelt, and primacy of sound business principles and corporate culture resonate strongly in our time and its emphasis on simply winning in any way possible. The pictures also add to the story.
Read more ›
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