The death march of two former American icons . . .

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Naimfan, May 25, 2014.

  1. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #1
    Recent article on HP that also mentioned Sears: http://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...6b0d9c-e1e6-11e3-810f-764fe508b82d_story.html

    Very sad to see how far both have fallen, to the point that they are effectively circling the drain.

    Unless HP learns how to innovate again, which seems unlikely, it seems doomed to peter out to a gray morass of mediocrity. Any more questions on how disruptive and destructive Apple has been?

    And Sears? The once-number 1 retailer in the US should just give up the ghost and liquidate itself - it'd be more merciful for all concerned.
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #2
    While I still use HP printers and ink, I can't remember the last time I bought anything from Sears.
     
  3. SandPebble macrumors regular

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    #3
    I did like the Craftsman tools. Guaranteed forever. Or until Sears is no more.
     
  4. smoledman macrumors 68000

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  5. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #5
    When I was very young I worked at Sears.

    Everyone once in a while we'd have someone find an old rusted Craftsman wrench out in a farm field, and bring it in under the guarantee, claiming to be the original owner.

    We rarely believed the owner part, but the tools were always replaced.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6
    Yeah, I don't know what the hell HP is doing. They had a golden opportunity to leap right into the middle of the smart phone / tablet wars when they bought Palm and WebOS and they just killed it. Why pay a billion dollars for tech like that and do nothing with it?
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    In HP's case its just sad to see a pioneer of the industry get so muddled down and lose their focus. Hopefully as they restructure they'll turn things around. The layoffs announced are huge :eek:

    I have an old friend who works for them, he started off with Dec, who got bought out by Compaq, who got bought out by HP. He's inching closer to retirement age so its probably a scary situation for him.

    As for Sears, they've just been unable to compete in today economy for some reason. I think this has been occurring for the 15 to 20 years but matters have only gotten worse - that's sad in its own right.
     
  8. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #8
    I fail to see how Apple's success translates into "disruptive and destructive" for HP and Sears. So Apple shouldn't be the best they can be and make the best decisions for their company and shareholders so they can prop up other companies? I see it more as "lead, follow or get out of the way". Other companies have found a way to survive and thrive. That responsibility falls on HP/Sears' leadership, not on Apple.
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #9
    I missed this line my first time through.

    HP's woes started way before Apple's mid/late 2000's resurgence. Dell started a race to the bottom in the PC market in the late '90's/early '00's and we are still seeing the fall out from that today. Apple's advancements in the mobile sector certainly didn't help things, but a decade or more of razor thin margins and gradual market saturation is what led to the decline and consolidation of the personal computer market place.

    Apple, by virtue of selling 'Macs' and not 'PC's', was able to stay above the fray that demanded selling $299 econo-box PCs (w/a printer thrown in for free).
     
  10. VI™ macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    But HP owns ESA, IIRC. ESA should be a cash cow for them.
     
  11. Naimfan thread starter macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #11
    I did not mean to suggest Apple is the main reason for the slow death of HP - clearly, it is not. While Apple certainly played a part, HP lost its ability to innovate and its very identity mostly on its own. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard would not recognize the company HP is today, and would be aghast at how their company is run today.

    HP's woes may not have begun under the late Lew Platt (RIP), but he is probably the single most responsible person, as he was responsible for the decision to spin off HP's core and soul, the test and measurement division now known as Agilent. The rationale was to focus on computers and imaging, which seemed reasonable enough at the time, even if that was already an outmoded concept.

    One problem was that Platt and his executive team completely missed the shift to services and by the time HP realized it IBM had effectively become the standard. The acquisition of EDS was a disaster - the cultures couldn't have been more different, even if the "HP Way" was already receding into memory. And even if it hadn't been so toxic, it was a reactionary move, not a groundbreaking one as IBM's investment in services was.

    A similar problem was that HP decided to take part in the race to the bottom in the PC market, with predictable results. In doing so, HP threw away its legacy of building top quality equipment and providing top quality support.

    There's probably no need to describe other HP failures, from their disastrous foray to the tablet market (again, reactionary), to the fiasco that was WebOS, to the impossible to defend hiring of Leo Apotheker, and so on.

    Apple, of course, was not responsible for HP's self-inflicted wounds. But one of HP's more embarrassing mis-steps was when it tried to compete with Apple in the tablet market, to say nothing of its dismissal of the iPhone and the concept of a closed ecosystem.

    It has been sad to watch the decline of HP. While it remains an enormous company by any measure, it is in an undoubted state of decay that will only accelerate unless it is able to innovate again.
     
  12. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #12
    For some reason HP's failure to thrive reminds me of the slow decline of Kodak, although that was(is) a completely different critter. I guess it’s just painful to watch any company that was once top tier start looking like it’s adrift in the Sargasso Sea. You can’t stand still in business (or in life). Either you keep moving or you die. Drifting doesn’t count!
     
  13. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #13
    Kodak just made me sad the most: (
     

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