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A leading innovation and marketing blog from Braden Kelley of Business Strategy Innovation

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Rules of the HP Garage

Rules of the HP Garage
[The garage where Hewlett and Packard started HP, 1939 photo]

by Paul Williams

Founders Bill Hewlett and David Packard had the right idea when they first built their company. They believed if you had passion for what you did - and did it with quality - the money will follow.

This was a pretty radial idea back in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Their approach to business became known as the "HP Way." And later the title of the book David Packard wrote about building HP. (The HP Way).

They started their business in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California. (That garage has been dubbed the birthplace of Silicon Valley).

In 1999, HP CEO Carly Fiorina, summarized the spirit of that HP Way with her Rules of the Garage:
  • Believe you can change the world.
  • Work quickly, keep the tools unlocked, work whenever.
  • Know when to work alone and when to work together.
  • Share tools, ideas. Trust your colleagues.
  • No politics. No bureaucracy. (These are ridiculous in a garage).
  • The customer defines a job well done.
  • Radical ideas are not bad ideas.
  • Invent different ways of working.
  • Make a contribution every day. If it doesn't contribute, it doesn't leave the garage.
  • Believe that together we can do anything.
  • Invent.

While HP has had ups and downs in the past years, you can't take away from the original spirit, values, and soul of the garage.

Did you know their first substantial sale was to Walt Disney. They sold him eight audio oscillators.

Paul WilliamsPaul Williams is a professional problem solver at Idea Sandbox. He can help you create remarkable ideas to grow your business. You may read more at his website and find him Twittering as @IdeaSandbox.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carly had nothing to do with the "rules of the garage", this was entirely the work of an outside consulting firm.

Frankly, even associating Carly with the garage is an insult to HP and it's people.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Braden Kelley said...

Thank you for the article Paul.

The rules were even used in an ad campaign.

In regards to who created them, here is another link to a Wired article discussing that - where they say the rules were first "articulated" by Fiorina.

Were they "created" by someone else, probably, but as a consultant doing this kind of work for clients, it's not really expected or appropriate for the consulting firm to be given credit.

If you get a nice referral for doing it, great.


6:34 AM  
Blogger Jupiter Family said...

Happy New Year !!!

2010 New Year's Fireworks show


8:04 AM  
Blogger janelle said...

Interesting to note that the online version of the HP Garage is built on Brightidea's innovation management software and is currently being rolled out to all 300k+ employees globally.

10:04 AM  

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