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William Redington Hewlett And David Packard Quotes

HP Building

Bill Hewlett and David Packard quotes: the HP heroes learn us some lessons.

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

“Believe you can change the world.”

“Take risks.  Ask big questions.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; if you don’t make mistakes, you’re not reaching far enough.”

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

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

“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.”

“To remain static is to lose ground.”

“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.”

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

“Why are we here?  I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists solely to make money.  Money is an important part of a company’s existence, if the company is any good.  But a result is not a cause.  We have to go deeper and find the real reason for our being.”

“As we investigate this, we inevitably come to the conclusion that a group of people get together and exist as an institution that we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively which they could not accomplish separately.”

“You can look around and still see people who are interested in money and nothing else, but the underlying drives come largely from a desire to do something else – to make a product, to give a service, generally, to do something which is of value.”

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

“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”

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

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

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

“We did not want to run a hire-and-fire operation, but rather a company based on a loyal and dedicated workforce.  We felt this workforce should be able to share to some extent in the progress of the company.”

“The individual works, partly to make money, of course, but we should also realize that the individual who is doing a worthwhile job is working because he feels he is accomplishing something worthwhile.”

“I want to emphasize then that people work to make a contribution and they do this best when they have a real objective, when they know what they are trying to achieve and are able to use their own capabilities to the greatest extent.”

“Think first of the other fellow – the first requisite for getting along with others.  It is the one truly difficult accomplishment you must make.  Gaining this, the rest will be a breeze.”

“Respect the other man’s personality rights.  Respect as something sacred the other fellow’s right to be different from you.  No two personalities are ever molded by precisely the same forces.”

“Avoid openly trying to reform people.  Every man knows he is imperfect, but he doesn’t want someone else trying to correct his faults.  If you want to improve a person, help him to embrace a higher working goal – a standard, an ideal – and he will do his own ‘making over’ far more effectively than you can do it for him.”

“Follow Abraham Lincoln’s famous self-instruction: ‘I do not like that man; therefore I shall get to know him better.'”

“Develop genuine interest in people.  You cannot successfully apply the foregoing suggestions unless you have a sincere desire to like, respect, and be helpful to others.  Conversely, you cannot build genuine interest in people until you have experienced the pleasure of working with them in an atmosphere characterized by mutual liking and respect.”

“Bill Hewlett and I were brought up in the Depression.  We weren’t interested in the idea of making any money.  Our idea was: if you couldn’t find a job, you’d make one for yourself.”

“In the beginning, we did anything to bring in a nickel.  We had a bowling lane foul line indicator.  We had a thing that would make a urinal flush automatically as soon as a guy came in front of it.  We had a shock machine to make people lose weight.”

“Bill and I had to be versatile.  We had to tackle almost everything ourselves – from inventing and building products to pricing, packaging, and shipping them; from dealing with customers and sales representatives to keeping the books; from writing the ads to sweeping up at the end of the day.”

“Bill and I, and some of those working with us in the early days, felt that we were able to design and make instruments which were not yet available.”

“Working together we have been able to provide for the technical people, our customers, things which are better than they were able to get anywhere else.  The real reason for our existence is that we provide something which is unique.  Our particular area of contribution is to design, develop, and manufacture electronic measuring instruments.”

“Everywhere I look I see the potential for growth, for discovery far greater than anything we have seen in the 20th century.  All that was needed was determination.  The state of change is proportional to the level of effort expended.”

“Creativity is an area in which younger people have a tremendous advantage, since they have an endearing habit of always questioning past wisdom and authority.”

“Keep it up.  That’s all – just keep it up!”

Fun fact: Hewlett-Packard was founded in a one-car garage.  And that legendary garage, located at 367 Addison Avenue, Palo Alto, California, is considered the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.”

I mean, that’s kind of a big deal, right?

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