10 Quotes From Bill Hewlett and David Packard That Every Executive Should Read

philmckinney | September 7, 2011

Article

Below are 10 quotes from Bill Hewlett and David Packard that I use as a periodic kick in the pants.

1. The greatest success goes to the person who is not afraid to fail in front of even the largest audience.

2. Set out to build a company and make a contribution, not an empire and a fortune.

3. The best possible company management is one that combines a sense of corporate greatness and destiny, with empathy for, and fidelity to, the average employee.

4. The biggest competitive advantage is to do the right thing at the worst time.

5. A company that focuses solely on profits ultimately betrays both itself and society.

6. Corporate reorganizations should be made for cultural reasons more than financial ones.

7. A frustrated employee is a greater threat than a merely unhappy one.

8. The job of a manager is to support his or her staff, not vice versa and that begins by being among them.

9. The best business decisions are the most humane decisions.  And, all other talents being even, the greatest managers are also the most human managers.

… and my favorite one is ….

10. Investing in new product development and expanding the product catalog are the most difficult things to do in hard times, and also among the most important.

 

Other quotes from David Packard? 11 Simple Rules For Getting Along

 

Source for the above quotes: @AskBillAndDave on twitter and “Bill & Dave” by Michael Malone (published by Portfolio/Penguin)

 

  • http://twitter.com/edcates EdCates

    Wow. Number 10 really hits a little close to home for the webOS and Touchpad fans.

  • msharp

    Just some suggestions to improve this great post.
    #5 – “A company the focuses…” should be “A company that focuses…”
    #8 – “visa verse” should be “vice versa”

    • http://www.philmckinney.com philmckinney

      Thanks …

  • JG

    Sad to see how the current HP board has failed to live up to so many of these quotes.

  • http://Home Louis Dohse

    Strange how the original connotations of “guidelines” became “quotes” in time. Corporate Objectives up to the ’70’s always reflected the spirit of these.

  • datt

    These are the grate values those who wants to set up a company and who wants to expand his company.I think it’s very difficult to follow all the quotes in organization.

  • Oscar

    Great quotes. It’s an embarrassment that Leo is harming such a great brand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564612203 Marc Gerald

    Wow – how incredibly revealing!

  • Don

    I never heard how the PSG spinoff and the end of WebOS were in the the best interest of the customer. It seems like management reports to Wall Street and not its customers and employees. There woould be no company without customers and employees. There could be without Wall Street. I think we need a resurgence in privately held companies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1659263407 Gary Campbell

    this is my favorite: 10. Investing in new product development and expanding the product catalog are the most difficult things to do in hard times, and also among the most important.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=535753427 Mark Proffitt

    When I worked at the various companies in Silicon Valley I noticed the companies were reflections of the personalities of the founders. I also noticed that as the founders pulled away the personalities of the companies began to change and also their success.

  • Thomas Tupper

    It’s sad to see how few of these principles the HP of today has stayed true to. Is there a single one of them that HP continues to hold as a core value? It surely doesn’t appear that it is so.

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  • Anonymous

    Hi ! this is my favorite: 10. Investing in innovative product advancement then getting bigger the product catalog are the a good number stubborn things on the street to solve in relentless times, and also amid the the largest measurement important.
    db dezine

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  • http://www.microtest.com Alan T

    I’m ex HP myself (came in from DEC/Compaq) and I was impressed with how HP was when I joined – quite similar to how DEC had been in its heyday. Ken Olsen is too often written off now as an engineer who got lucky, but like H&P he created a company environment in which people could genuinely innovate.

    Over my 10 years at HP it changed though, changed into something less people-centric; It veered quite markedly away from the principles listed above (especially under Mr Pfiefer’s reign).

    My favourite Dave Packard quote (is it a quote, or just a philosophy?) is “Senior Management sets the direction and then gets out the way”. That’s quoted in the HP video (on YouTube)”Origins”. Many areas of US and European industry should rediscover that principle.

  • AE interior

    The best business decisions are the most humane decisions. And, all other talents being even, the greatest managers are also the most human managers. thiet ke noi that cao capnoi that biet thunoi that chung cu