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

Book Now A Disruptive Ideation Workshop at DisruptiveIdeation.com

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

Bill Hewlett David Packard Quotes

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.

RELATED POSTS:  Over dressed for the AlwaysOn event ......

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.

RELATED POSTS:  Speech: The Journey of the Communication Industry

… 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)


Zoom - 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions - Is a sponsor of the Killer Innovations Show

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

21 thoughts on “10 Quotes From Bill Hewlett and David Packard That Every Executive Should Read

  1. 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”

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Hi,

    Very true… these 02 guys started in a garage and was passionate about technology !
    Unfortunately, HP today forgot his innovation ADN… as many other BIG companies.. they don’t take risks anymore.. Do you want to hear the best evidence ? No one says “WAW” when he sees any HP or HPE products…
    IMOO Companies which will survive are the ones which integrate INNOVATION by design … HUAWEI, AMAZON, ALIBABA seem that they start to learn the past failure lessons from HP, XEROX,MS, IBM..


  11. Humble people with a selfless outlook on life. Bill and Dave understood the concept of sharing and that is what made them great. It is also what inspired people to work for HP. It is such a shame that the mantra was lost along the way. This seems to be the way it is unfortunately; as companies grow, and the original founders move into the past, the sense of values and direction is lost. I speak from personal experience where I worked at HP. I designed with my team a future technology well ahead of its time for a ridiculously modest amount. It has now been renamed and is being marketed through HPE. its just such a shame that they don’t understand what they have and the methods they used to get it. Bill and Dave would have been deeply ashamed by what went on, they were people I aspired too. When organisations lose their sense of values and purpose they lose their direction and reputation. They then lose business. People would do well to remember that business is their to serve people, it has to be its sole purpose. When it fails to do this it ultimately collapses. Another personal quote I would personally add to the top ten would be “Remember that our employees are also our customers”. Feel free to throw this one around and consider how it related to current day developments in business and impact and interaction with society. Complex adaptive systems is a topic worth exploring (CAS). 🙂

Comments are closed.