Tuesday, June 26, 2012

TheDeathOfWebOS Took Less than a 3 year Lease.

I sold the "Hawk": HP/Konica Minolta and Ikon's nexus of the absurd. HP's first toe-dip into the copier industry.

I sold Edgeline.  HP's second and "this time, we'll get it right" attempt to play in the copier industry.

I own a TouchPad.  I wanted to own one.  I was an HP head, as much as could be, without being employed by Mother Blue.

So when the TouchPad was rumored, I maneuvered into a position to get one.

When the rumors came down the channel that HP was going to market their E*Print along with the new tablet, as an MpS Practice manager, under the HP OPS banner, I was doubly excited.

I was not alone.

Across the country, honorable, trusting, HP believers, employees,  fanned out to the channel exalting the next big thing in print; mobile print through HP tablets and phones.  WebOS was to be installed on every printer, MFP, laptop, phone and tablet.


We were encouraged to invest and build mobility practices. Indeed, HP VARs all over, hired, shifted and built business plans around the "Blues Clues' handy-dandy notebook" and print.

At the time, we saw Apple as pulling tablet use up for everyone - like the rising tide lifts all ships.

Of course it ended up not being the tide, but a tidal wave, dashing the hopes and dreams of mobility practice managers everywhere into the rocks of BYOD.

Looking back like this feels as though I'm 'piling on' as Meg tries to right the lumbering behemoth - jettisoning tens of thousands and returning to HP's hardware roots.

HP will survive.  It's too big to fail.

What is to be learned from this Shakespearean tragedy?  What can we as individuals take from the meteoric arc?

1.  Everything dies, baby that's a fact...
2.  What is strong today, can be gone tomorrow
3.  Logic sometimes, doesn't prevail
4.  The obvious isn't
5.  When you forget who you are, you're just aching for a smack-down

Currently, HP, Canon and Samsung have announced, each in their own way, they are now, always have been and always will be, hardware manufacturers.  Defining who you are and promoting yourself as true, is the only way to survive these days - we can debate over the sustainability of a pure hardware play, my money is on Samsung.


The truth is finally revealed.  No more talk of 'solution based selling', or 'on-ramps to EDM' or such nonsense.  For these guys, the value is, 'best product', 'reliable performance', "affordable price', 'simple to use', printers and copiers.

For them, MpS will always hold a capital "P" and a small 'm'.  Oh, they will protest, flaunting symbolic MpS programs, designed by marketing departments and tasked with landing more equipment.


So it is with great nostalgia that I combed through this article from The Verge, regaling the rise and fall of Pre, WebOS and the TouchPad.

Oh how the mighty have fallen - $1.6 billion write off? - ain't nothing but a thang, just ignore that.

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