500,000 CEOs: The Finalists | webOS Nation

500,000 CEOs: The Finalists 80

by Derek Kessler Mon, 10 Oct 2011 8:17 pm EDT

After careful consideration of the dozens of submitted entries for the PreCentral 500,000 CEOs contest, we’re ready to move on to the next step. We’ve picked out the five finalists (they’re after the break) and we want you to help us pick the winner. That winner will receive, along with fame, notoriety, and all the adoration of the masses, a 32GB TouchPad, bluetooth keyboard, and TouchPad case. Plus they’ll be anointed the unofficial “What you should do with webOS” messenger to HP and HP CEO Meg Whitman. Thanks to everybody that submitted - we received a lot of great entries, but sadly we can't give you all a TouchPad.

First, a little big about how we picked our finalists: we looked for awesomeness. Some of the videos are fun, others cute, some go really in depth. By and large, they made us feel good, and we think they'll do the same for you. There's a lot to be said for this community - 500,000 members and we're still not backing down in the face of everything that's been thrown our way. You're awesome.

Let’s get to it. After the break you’ll find the five finalists and a poll to log your vote. Voting will be open through midnight EDT on Sunday, October 16th. Also, we’ve included Twitter links with each of the finalists so you can share your favorites with the world (and HP).

The Finalists


Rennat: From the WebOS Community

Share on Twitter!


Joseph Dowdy: "More Touchpads, please." Angelina, Age 4

Share on Twitter!


Christopher Thomas: A Proposal

Share on Twitter!


ZwergHoldrio and Shoe: A world without webOS devices

Share on Twitter!


Brian Hutchison: Letter to HP

Share on Twitter!

The Vote

Honorable Mentions:

David Rhyne: It's a webOS Life

(click for full image)


Don Levy: Back to the Future



DeAnte Hancock: WebOS Future!


Simon McDougall: An Address to HP


@nawadley: HP Start The Fire

Thanks again to all entrants, and good luck to the finalists!



my fav was actually HP Start the Fire...brilliant video/song parody

+50....apparently from what ive seen in the comments..hp start the fire could beat all of them.

That was the best... what?

the lil girl was cute, but the fire one got the message across!

It definitely was a good video, but I think the video from Christopher Thomas gave more direction for HP than any of them.

He's probably the only one that followed directions. Not that it matters much. It was a lame contest to begin with.

Was going to say the same thing. Bit long/cheezy, but hits everything on the head.

Also, I like cheezy.

HP start the fire!!

I have to agree...HP Start the Fire made me laugh, made me cry....!

"HP Start the Fire".... What an awesome parody! Good job!

I think this contest came too late as it sounds like a decision from HP has already been made and might be announced tomorrow.

Christopher Thomas got my vote. He had great ideas, and beautiful designs.

gotta admit, "HP start the fire" was pretty fricken awesome.

Agreed.. Cristopher Thomas' touchpad with white trim design and soft touch back is seexxxxy.. even the computer design had a very modern and clean look that if priced reasonably next to a plain black one with same specs, would fly off the shelves.. HP hire this guy please!

And agree x2 on the "HP start the fire".. that was nicely done! Should have been a finalist over "Brian Hutchison: Letter to HP"...

If "HP start the fire" was a finalist, it would have been a tough choice.. "HP start the fire" definitly was more entertaining.. but Cristopher Thomas' Proposal is what HP needs to HEAR.. and DO!!

He did a nice job with his design but there was one problem with his video and attempt to get hired - I kept looking at his iMac in the background. That sends the message that he's serious about the Mac and design but maybe not HP.

I love everyone here and on webOS. Each one of these videos/open letters was awesome in a very unique way and I did watch/read them all (I loved HP start the fire). They remind me time and time again why I stay so devoted to this wonderful platform. Never give up, never surrender!

Haha, I love Galaxy Quest. And I agree with everything else you said too :)

Time for HP to start the fire now!

HP Start the Fire was the best one- totally explained everything. I should've sent my video in...

GOD...I love my community!!! :)

I too love so much this commnunity and I feel very Proud of all of you guys.

I should sent a video with my daugther playing with TP she is fantastic using WebOS gadgets.

I don´t know whos is the best "From WebOS Community" is really Good, deep, but also I feel great seeing the "HP Start the Fire", very emotive.

Every single day is a hard day for all of us waiting for good news that does not come!!

From the webOS community is the smoothest with best visuals but message is imperfect. Hp start the fire is a great graphical history of webOS. Not sure if HP board would appreciate its truthfulness though! "A world without webOS" is the funniest-saddest. The picture of the guy with the river pebble next to his head is classic and trying to flick away cards on atm was priceless.

write-in vote: @nawadley: HP Start The Fire

My absolute favorite one (and this was tough guys!) was "HP Start The Fire" but it was not in the list... but Brian Hutchinson summed it up most succinctly... HP, stop being so stupid. You used to be a company I admired and aspired to work for.

HP start the fire

why isn't "HP start the fire" in the finalists but "letter to HP" is ???

Sorry P|C, but your first selection "Rennat: From the WebOS Community" is a MAJOR fail... It's webOS not WebOS!!!

Repeat after me webOS not WebOS!

I agree, start the fire gets my vote!

heu.. most of the time I write WebOS... Not that much of a fail

Well, the point of this was to influence the HP board of directors -- how can you do that when you can't even spell the name of their product correctly? And we're not just talking about a single typo, it's in the title and appears many times throughout the video.

Well done!!!!

They are all terrific.

Seriously, each has its own special merit, and together, they ALL send a very strong and sincere message to HP.

Have to agree with LCGuy, so send them all in to Meg, starting with HP Start the FIRE, then the final 5 in order.
HP Start the Fire would be a great way to light the Fire under whatever is left of the webOS group.

HP. Hire Chris Thomas, for god's sake. He just showed up your marketing team and your hardware design team in less than 10 minutes.

By advocating they repeat the exact same decisions they did before, except putting a white trim around a slimmer version of each tablet now?


Really? Does pointing out ginormous feckups they've made, and advising to fire their marketing department constitute in your opinion "advocating they repeat the exact same decisions they did before" ?

for God's sake, jerrydan...

Oh, I forgot....if they went with commercials emphasizing functionality like Flash and cards, everything would've been different.

Oh, wait...no it wouldn't have because that's what Blackberry did.

The vast majority of his device was "Jump back in the market with a slightly tweaked design and lower prices so you lose more money than you already projected you would lose at $399....which is the reason you dumped the line in the first place!"

Increased expenditures on hardware redesign and marketing + lower prices to make even less money to offset + adding a white trim on everything + way less money to spend since you spend the majority of your cash on hand on Autonomy = win?

you clearly are not capable of thinking one millimeter beyond Excel spreadsheets and the immediate urge to make money right here, right now, and feature comparisons. You see, the devil is in the details.

Luckily, there are people in this world, who are not as constrained, thanks to them, we still have technological progress and paradigm shifts.

Yes, it was GRANTED (and I have repeated this to you couple of times, and have said it before as well), that there was NO WAY of making money on webOS devices/ecosystem RIGHT NOW, without investing heavily in marketing/solid devices/market share.

And NO, these MULTI-MILLIONS "investments" by HP that you are bringing to the table, were simply pathetic and not even NEARLY enough, in the face of competition, spending BILLIONS in this fight (left, right and middle), to secure the FUTURE of their mobile OSes.

So I don't understand why are you constantly bringing this penny-crunching to the table, it is unquestionable, and I am not questioning it.

World without webOS says it all. The OS is the best out ther - it JUST works and is beautiful in its simple elegance. Hey HP - forget refridgerators and printers - put webOS on ATMs!

I would choose 3, 1, 4 in that order for relevant message. 4 is the most comical and 1 had a great message too. The only problem with 3 is that it's totally an armchair CEO thing but I liked the message.

Rennat was the only semi-professional one with the best message IMO. Good luck to all.

Start the fire!

these are all great! makes me happy to see individuals, families, professionals, average joes, and everyone all coming together to save something we love! SAVE WEBOS!

My responses to the Finalists' videos:

Rennat: From the WebOS Community - Seeing the Touchpad in action makes me want one even more!

Joseph Dowdy: "More Touchpads, please." Angelina, Age 4 - OMG Angelina is ADORABLE!! Touchpad for ME too! :(

Christopher Thomas: A Proposal - HP, hire the dude!

ZwergHoldrio and Shoe: A world without webOS devices - I know how ya feel. I played around with my daughter's EVO, and husband's Galaxy tablet and caught myself swiping. Felt like screaming when I had to go through all those freakin' steps that take one swipe or touch with webOS!

Brian Hutchison: Letter to HP - Well. . . while HP has done some bonehead stuff lately, you can't say that to the CEO and expect positive results.

those aare all really great videos (or songs or slideshows). Makes me sad and mad again, webOS is awesome but unfortunatly hp is not.

HP Start The Fire is clearly the best ! By giving us a sneak peek, but not letting us vote for it, you are doing exactly what HP did to the Pre3 !
Well in keeping with the whole HPalm history, I don't like your top 3 and go for The Fire.
More Touchpads is probably the best of the first three.

i say hire them all and then hire someone like rwhitby or nuttybunny as president of HP!!!!

Christopher Thomas had a good message and his design for the touchpad is very nice. I agree it has to be a metal case as plastic just isn't cutting it and it's cracking within weeks of owning it. Very poor exterior quality.

HP light the fire was good also but I enjoyed Chris' message better.

You "SHOULD" add this video


That is nicely done.. not too related to this contest, but good ad for webos... although its one of those type of ads that have floating cards and sh*t that no one understands.. webos really needed a simple apple like video with just a hand/finger showing what it can do.

What in the world? The best of all those I can view (the vimeo embeds aren't working for me) is the "We Didn't Start the Fire" filk. How and why did that not make the top five?

P|C.. from the comments i think this pick is going to be skewed.. it seems some people arent seeing the vimeo videos..

Christopher Thomas: A Proposal, is the video HP needs to see

Start The Fire was terrific. But as far as voting goes, I'm really torn between Reggat and ZwergHoldrio

I would like to VOTE for Start The Fire but apparently can not.

HP Start The Fire, for sure. Doesn't tell HP what to do, but clearly communicates the passion and creativity of this community. Plus it's so much fun!

I vote for Start the Fire!!!

How did that not make the top cut???

How do we track the voting after we vote and return?

I vote for Start the Fire! Laughed and cried. But perhaps not the best message to send to a CEO ;-)

Well, folks, I can say I appreciated the creativity of these entries. The important question is which of these would be persuasive to HP?

I think none of them alone would be persuasive, but the two professionally done and the little girl video might.

A world without webOS devices and from the webOS community are the most professional.

The little girl is of course cute.

The angry videos might make a community member feel avenged, but what would an HP exec think of it? I doubt they would be persuaded.

"A proposal" might contain useful information, but I couldn't make myself watch the whole thing because the echoing sound and the very distracting background were just too annoying. Since so many seemed to like what this guy had to say, perhaps a rework of that video with better presentation characteristics could help.

Good luck to us all.

agreed.. he needed a white wall background or something clean.. and a better camera it was kind of grainy.. or just do a voice over and keep the whole thing with graphics which he is good at..

but I still think the proposal had the best info and design for HP touchpad.

I think there should be 2 winners, Start the Fire for creativity, emotional appeal, visuals, etc. and Christopher Thomas: A Proposal (re-done with more polish) for an actual commonsense, appeal with some meat to it. This would give the most well rounded message to HP...

I would pay $25-30 at cafepress or wherever for a t-shirt or polo with the Great Seal of the webOS Nation on it from "Start the Fire."

make it happen!

also this song should be on Rock Band Network, just sayin :)

Funny to see so many are applauding Christopher Thomas' video as sage advice for HP to follow since - with the exception of "Rush the Touchpad back to market" - HP followed those steps to the letter THE FIRST TIME AROUND.

They already seeded and "incentivized" developers the first time around. Didn't work. Tried selling them as cheaply as they could (20 percent permanent price cut within 30 days of launching) sell them while remaining viable. Didn't work. Hotshotted updates. Didn't work. Everyone here was defending the design the first time around, so why change it now?

Of course, rushing the Touchpad back to market would put it right in the crosshairs of the $199 Kindle Fire (preorders are already outselling 10-inch Touchpads with 4 times the memory and much better hardware on Amazon) launch, and I'd love to see HP falling over themselves trying to out-retail the kings of retail.

Essentially, the consensus here is that HP should keep doing the same things that lead to billions lost and market failure, but....do it harder. Weird that they're not all over that...

hey man, I know - you must be one of the members of the HP Director's Board - trying to cover your bottom by telling off the webOS, and how it was always destined to be "a failure", regardless the brilliant leadership/marketing/commitment/double-down push it received from it's glorious masters?

Mystery solved...

Well, when you're unable to refute anything I said, I guess babbling is the only recourse?

Other than not embarrassing yourself by clicking "Reply", that is.....

...but, jerrydan, in my above post, I've only summarized in short what you are constantly posting here - so if you wish to call it "babbling", I think we have reached an agreement. I am immensely happy for that.

Great work everyone! Chris I hope you get the job but I hope its the job where webOS lands.

The Christopher Thomas video was the one that made sense but agree that HP start the fire was the best here. Funny how such a short video summed up around 3 years of waiting on Palm/HP to do something with webOS.

Also i lost my pre plus a few weeks back, got an android phone whilst i decide on my nxt upgrade and i have to say its nothing special. Yes the hardware is more upto date and the software more polished, but it still has nothing on webOS.

Gestures, Synergy, Touchstone, Qwerty keyboard and WEBOS, miss it all....come on HP stop being stupid,

Ditto on the write-in vote:
@nawadley: HP Start The Fire

Chris Thomas for CEO.

For everyone how has been asking (alot of people!) for the apps that I chose in my video because they really did show off webOS's capabilities are below:

- Incredible! (twitter, foursquare, and facebook client)
- Glimpse (brings out the best of multitasking)
- Wild'n Video Poker (seriously a fun game)
- Communites (amazing PreCentral forum browser)
- Weather Dashbar (weather always accessible with one flick)
- Kindle (eBook reader)
- TeaReader (best RSS reader EVER!!)
- Music Player Remix (you will perk up when you see all the features of this frick'n amazing music player)

" Music Player Remix (you will perk up when you see all the features of this frick'n amazing music player)
...bring it to Pre3!

"Start The Fire" as a rallying cry for webOS could catch on.....

I dunno...that video from Brian Hutchison was pretty alright.

HP Start the fire all the way!

Man how can a webOS fan not love the HP Start The Fire vid. Brilliant! The other ones are good too but this one had the most effort go into it while summing up our story so comically, frankly, and thoroughly. I wonder why it was not in the finalist. Pointing out mistakes may seem negative but really HP needs to hear Palm's and their own mistakes. It's constructive.

HP Start The Fire or is that

HP Light The Fire

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@Christopher Thomas: What song was that during the Touchpad Go part of your video?


You... are... GENIUS :)

Chris got my vote. For the most part all the videos were great but I preferred his for the direction. Hire this guy, I want one of those cool looking Touchpads so everybody can stop thiking my Touchpad is an iPad!
The start the fire video was awesome but lacked direction. Good job guys!

Christopher Thomas for the gold, @nawadley for the silver.

A bit late, but the one by ZwergHoldrio must be the best of all. In a short video it shows everything that we will miss about webOS. He defo hit the nail on the head with that video and he should have won.

And for the guy with his kid, that's just sad, give your daughter your touchpad man....