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Books about HP (Feb 11, 2024)   Question? Email: info@hpalumni.org 

For the HPAA's directory of links to sites and articles – the company, the founders, products and reminiscences, reference sites, acquisitions and spinoffs – click here: HP History Links.

Compaq, DEC, EDS, and Tandem history.

Books, articles, websites, and videos about acquired companies: Compaq  DEC  EDS  Tandem

HP history

Read the original HP Way and HP Corporate Objectives statements on the HPAA website: The HP Way

See also:

- Timeless business lessons from HP history – HP people talk frankly about what went right – and what went wrong – as this continuous startup grew rapidly for decades.

- Memoirs of HP people – Why Hewlett-Packard was such a special place.

The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company – by David Packard. Edited by David Kirby with Karen Lewis
Packard talks frankly about what went well while starting up and over the decades -- and what didn't go well.

The primary source on HP history and the HP Way. Still in print.

"The point is not that every company should necessarily adopt the specifics of the HP Way, but that Hewlett and Packard exemplify the power of building a company based on a framework of principles." --forward to 2006 edition by Jim Collins
Co-author Dave Kirby discusses the project here: HP Memory Project

Collins Hardcover (May 1995) ISBN-10: 0887307477
Collins Paperback (January 2006) ISBN-10: 0060845791 (New forward by Jim Collins.)

What a Mickey Mouse way to start a company – article by Jean Burke Hoppe

Debunks myths and explains HP's role in Fantasia. HP “Measure” magazine, September-October 1989. Article 

Bill & Dave's Memos – Edited by Albert Yuen  Author's LinkedIn profile
Captures Bill and Dave's personalities and management techniques through the memos they wrote as they ran the company.

"I wanted to find out for myself how Bill and Dave ran the company on a daily basis. So I started to spend my off-hour time at the HP archives... As I pored through the boxes of memos, I gained a deeper appreciation of the breadth of the management style that came to be known as the HP Way... Bill and Dave managed to preserve the spirit of the HP Way from the garage to a global operation over the 40+ years that they directly managed the corporation."
"If you take the time to learn about the HP Way, you will see that it constitutes some very sound management practices that are beyond sentimental emotions of days gone by."

Some examples: Hewlett announcing the nine-day fortnight. Packard's forceful memo on MBWA and the open door policy. Hewlett on why HP stopped expanding in the Bay Area. Packard on why a company exists. (The Keysight archives were lost in the 2017 Santa Rosa fire.)

February 2007. ISBN-10: 1424327814

Becoming Hewlett Packard: Why Strategic Leadership Matters – by Robert Burgelman, Webb McKinney, and Philip Meza

Part II has a detailed chapter on each CEO -- Packard, Hewlett, Young, Platt, Fiorina, Hurd, Apotheker. The challenges each faced and the strategic decisions each made. (Whitman chapter was written before the HP Breakup.)
Oxford University Press (December 2016)  Hardcover and Kindle: ISBN-10: 0190640448 

Reader reviews and "Look inside" sample: Amazon   Contents and reviews: Oxford University Press   MIT Technology Review article   Computer History Museum discussion with authors of Part II: YouTube

The HP Phenomenon: Innovation and Business Transformation – by Charles House and Raymond Price

"While primarily a history of Hewlett-Packard, 'The HP Phenomenon' also holds profound lessons for engineers, managers, and organizational leaders hoping to transform their own organizations."
Stronger coverage of the electronic instrument side of HP (now Keysight) than the computer side (now HPInc and HPE.)

Stanford University Press (October 2009) ISBN-10: 0804752869

Authors: Chuck House's blog  

Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company – by Michael S. Malone

"...deals not just with both men but their relationship to each other...  and, most of all, how they met each challenge in their careers..." 
"Like everyone else, they sometimes made bad, stupid, or selfish decisions in both their professional and personal lives. They were also men of their time, exhibiting prejudices and moral blind spots that disappoint us today..."
"The HP Way was a hard-nosed business philosophy that combined simple objectives, trust in employees to make the right choices, and ruthless self-appraisal. It created an innovative and ferociously competitive company."

An effort to dramatize HP's history for a popular readership. Some of the key anecdotes are disputed by those involved. Odd factual errors.
Portfolio Hardcover (April 2007) ISBN-10: 1591841526  
Portfolio Paperback (March 2008) ISBN-10: 1591841879 

The Evolving Way: An HP Story – by "Trope"

Coffee-table book sponsored by HPInc. Refers to the HP Way, but does not include it. Hides rather than boasting about HP launching Agilent, Philips Medical, Lumileds, HPE, etc. Only one photo of the HP 3000 -- but several photos of systems from HP rival DEC. Many photos contrast-enhanced, obscured, or poorly reproduced. (See publisher's video or 19 sample images on Amazon.)
Trope Publishing, Chicago (August 2022) ISBN-10: 1951963083  

HP strategy

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras

HP is extensively discussed.
Collins Hardcover (October 1994) ISBN-10: 0060566108 1st edition
Collins Paperback (August 2002) ISBN-10: 0060516402 3rd edition

Author: website 

Inventions of Opportunity: Matching Technology with Market Needs – introduction by William R. Hewlett

Original articles from 1949-1981 HP Journal about 31 key HP contributions. Hewlett's introduction describes the technique of "engineering of opportunity" that guided the company despite low R&D budgets in the early days -- and discusses each product, including the sampling oscilloscope, automatic network analyzer, LEDs, HP 2116 computer, HP-35, HP Instrument Bus, Logic Analyzer, and the HP 3000.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (October 1983) ISBN-10: 0961203005 (HP part number 92233B.)

The book is summarized in an 8-page history of the HP Journal in the October 1989 40th anniversary issue.

Full list of articles on Ken Kuhn's HP Memory Project site. (Scroll down half way.)

All HP Journal issues are available online and searchable: HP Publications

Build An Industry Hot Rod: The Nuts and Bolts of Leaving Competitors in the Dust – by Marvin L. Patterson

"A closed-loop process that drives financial growth by creating new products or services and transforming them into value for the customer. A fraction of the revenue received funds innovation of future products and services... using the framework of souping up a hot rod..."

Many references to HP, based on the author's '73 - '93 HP R&D management experience. 
Dileab Publishing (October 2008) ISBN-10: 0981728405

Leading Product Innovation: Accelerating Growth in a Product-Based Business – by Marvin L. Patterson and John Fenoglio
The traditional practice of delegating full responsibility for product innovation to the engineering department is worse than outdated -- it is downright reckless.
Wiley (October 1999) ISBN-10: 0471345172 

Accelerating Innovation: Improving the Process of Product Development – by Marvin L. Patterson and Sam Lightman
How concepts from the manufacturing domain -- such as Work In Process and cycle time reduction -- can be applied in R&D.
Van Nostrand Reinhold (November 1992) ISBN-10: 0442013787

Specific aspects of HP

The Soul in the Computer: The Story of a Corporate Revolutionary – by Barbara Waugh

A 60's radical attempts to transform the HP culture.
Inner Ocean Paperback (October 2001) ISBN-10: 1930722036

Inner Ocean Hardcover (October 2001) ASIN: B002WEUGY2 

How It All Began: Hewlett-Packard's Loveland Facility – by Kenneth Jessen
Jessen is author of many books and articles on Colorado history.
J V Publications Paperback (July 2001) ISBN-10: 1928656021
J V Publications Hardcover (1999) ASIN: B002WEUGY2

How It All Began... Again! The First 40 Years of Hewlett-Packard in Colorado Springs – Les Bailey, Mary Lou Bailey, Joetta Hoewisch, and Larry Koperski

“It was a different kind of a work world, a place where, for the most part, our bosses were not our bosses, they were our friends. A place where we worked hard and played hard, a place where we liked going to work in the morning, a place that shared with us the rewards of our labors... and a place where layoffs were avoided at all costs.”

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 2015)  Order 

HP personalities

Ready Fire Aim – by Paul C. Ely

The man who turned a dying division into multi-billion-dollar business talks very frankly about what he did right, what he did wrong -- and how drastic changes in HP's culture caused him to leave in 1985.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 2014) ISBN-10: 1493751352 

The Selected Papers of Bernard Oliver

The brilliant and opinionated Barney Oliver was HP's director of research and development for thirty years and an HP board member. The book includes papers on physics and math, electronic engineering, social issues, and SETI. "Expository treatments of many fascinating notions that are important to physics and applied mathematics." 418 pages. Hewlett-Packard Laboratories (1997)  ASIN: B000OMUMZC    B0006FB1UC

Apparently So: A collection of short humor and other articles – by David L. Price

Some of the pieces are from his famous internal columns during a time of great turmoil at HP. Plus vignettes about working with Lew Platt and Carly Fiorina.
David Price Communications (January 2013) ISBN-10: 0986437808

The Gamesman: The New Corporate Leaders – by Michael Maccoby

Of the four organizational personalities described, the young Dick Hackborn -- who later built the printer business and then recruited Carly Fiorina -- is the thinly-disguised "Gamesman" closely observed over seven years by a psychologist.
Bantam Paperback (January 1978) ISBN-10: 0553114506 or ISBN-10: 0553230999
Simon & Schuster Hardcover (January 1977) ISBN-10: 0671223534

Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins – by Tom Perkins
Learning from Packard; HP computer business startup -- pages 71-85. First HP job -- pages 51-55.
Gotham Hardcover (November 2007) ISBN-10: 1592403131

Gotham Paperback (October 2008) ISBN-10: 1592404030  B00263J6KY

Making My Own Luck. (The harder I worked – the luckier I got) – by Ray Smelek

Joined HP in 1957. Founded Boise Division and developed the LaserJet. Built HP Mass Storage Group.
Caxton Printers, Caldwell, ID. ISBN: 978-0-692-00029-8

Several chapters posted on the HP Memory Project site.

Carly Fiorina and the Compaq merger

Backfire: Carly Fiorina's High-Stakes Battle for the Soul of Hewlett-Packard – by Peter Burrows

"Fiorina won by a whisker, after the most expensive proxy fight in history and a dramatic lawsuit that accused the company of illegally fixing the vote." 
Wiley Hardcover (February 2003) ISBN-10: 0471267651 

Perfect Enough: Carly Fiorina and the Reinvention of Hewlett Packard – by George Anders
Transformation into one of America's most powerful female CEOs. Efforts of the second generation of Hewletts and Packards to remain loyal to the company's original vision.

Portfolio Hardcover (January 2003) ISBN-10: 1591840031
Portfolio Paperback (January 2004) ISBN-10: 1591840325 

Author's LinkedIn profile

Fiorina's Rules of the Garage (1999)

Why Carly's Big Bet is Failing – article by Carol J. Loomis.

Fortune Jan 22, 2005 Article 

Tough Choices: A Memoir – by Carly Fiorina

Written before running for Senator from California. Covers business experience at AT&T, Lucent, and HP.
Portfolio Hardcover (October 2006) ISBN-10: 159184133X

Portfolio Paperback (September 2007) ISBN-10: 159184181X 

Author website

Pretexting scandal  

The Big Lie: Spying, Scandal, and Ethical Collapse at Hewlett Packard – by Anthony Bianco

"Authoritative account by the former BusinessWeek writer Anthony Bianco" --NYTimes

PublicAffairs (May 2010) ISBN-10: 1586488031 

The Fixer. Secrets for saving your reputation in the age of viral media. – by Michael Sitrick
Two chapters on "Exonerating Pattie" by a leading crisis manager.
Regnery (January 8, 2018) ISBN-10: 1621572862

Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins – by Tom Perkins
HP board member -- 2001-2003 and 2005-2006 -- pages 1-19.
Gotham Hardcover (November 2007) ISBN-10: 1592403131

Gotham Paperback (October 2008) ISBN-10: 1592404030  B00263J6KY

Meg Whitman  

The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life – by Meg Whitman and Joan O'C Hamilton

Written before running for Governor of California. Covers business experience at eBay and previous companies.

Crown Hardcover (January 2010) ISBN-10: 0307591212

Three Rivers Paperback (September 2010) ISBN-10: 159184181X 

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