|48 discontinued AND MBA's (long)|
Message #4 Posted by bill platt on 4 June 2003, 7:22 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Ted
I am not so sure that the website http://www.hp.com/calculators/ means much in regards to anything meaningful. In fact, the 48 series has been discontinued for quite a while--at first, you just couldn't buy any accessories, and then, the calculators. Further, there were other conflicts:
About 3 months ago, I decided to give our HP small business sales rep a call, regarding calculators (we have too many HP printers in the office). Just to add fuel to the fire about the Carly thing, I will note that not only did he know absolutely nothing about the calculator line (and told me so) he did try very hard to obtain info for me. He called me back a couple of times (he tried really hard to find a 32sii) and in the end the result was interesting:
On the small business website, the 49g was still listed, and the price was actually very good--$156 US or so, and a discount could be applied. And they had a bunch in stock at the time. I didn't buy one. Reading comp.sys.HP48 lead me to believe that although the 49 is more powerful, it is not always worth the pain and suffering. And the small business website did not list the 48--only the 49g.
But on the main HP calculators page, the 49g was nowhere to be found in the listing, and the 48 was listed, even though we can be certain that the manufacturing had ceased (all accessories, manuals and support had been discontinued).
So, HP/Compaq's head rarely knows what it's tail is doing. The company is a chaotic jumble of divisions, squabbles, territories, duchys, and confusion.
HP/Compaq is clearly a corporate behemoth with no direction. Sure, Carly might be a media darling, and she is certainly intelligent, and might even have good ideas (just not about calculators) but I think at this point she (or any leader) will have a tiger by the tail, and the tiger is winning, to it's own demise.
As an aside:
The MBA question really has nothing to do with MBA's but rather with an importatnt division in general business philosophy: There are technology driven business models (which actually include insurance, but that is another story) and then there are merchandising business models (Coc-cola). Trouble starts when one mixes up the philosophies. Merchandising attracts a horde of selfish, greedy, short-term thinkers who's only dreams are getting rich quick with as little original effort as possible. These people think in dollars and moving this or that to milk dollars. (Technology people dream of technical ideas, and how to improve the world. There is a real philosophical difference and the types are incompatible in business.) But truly successful long term merchandising geniuses do not think that way--they think lon-term--it is jus that technology looks generally scary to the greedy short-termers--but this does not stop them from trying occasionally, when a technology company starts to look like a cash cow! This happened to HP because the name became too "valuable" (greedy short-termers put too much emphasis on brand names--remember when www.bank.com sold for $30 million US!?) The problem is obvious though: a technology driven business model must maintain and rely on its technology thinkers (not business ideas but true technical advancement) to move forward, succeed and stay competitive. HP is no longer a technology driven company. It is a merchandising company overlaid on earlier technology.
Although it might seem that we aught to "keep our chins up" as it were, I think we might as well formally recognize that HP (the company, culture, etc)is dead. And this is a good thing, as this is a Calculator Museum, right? Isn't a Chippendale chair, or a Van Gogh painting just as interesting now that those "makers" are dead?
We should stop bashing Carly. We should stop worrying about it. It is over. It was over 2 years ago. It might have really been over the moment they released the 6s (I had a sinking feeling when I saw that thing...)