HP has neither balls nor brains | webOS Nation

HP has neither balls nor brains

by Derek Kessler Fri, 19 Aug 2011 11:36 am EDT

Dear HP:

Seriously? No, really, seriously? You’ve been in the mobile business for a year, threw your big “coming out party” six months ago, and you’re throwing in the towel already because it turns out playing in the mobile space is harder than you imagined? You have no balls, ambition, or brains.

For the past year I’ve tried to put on a happy face and say nice things about HP even as you consistently failed on almost every single execution point of a launch that you possibly could. You released mediocre hardware like the Veer and TouchPad. You released software – webOS 3.0 – before it was ready. Your CEO wasn’t in touch with what was going on in his business, claiming that products would launch within weeks, and instead it took months and months. Your advertising, while miles better than Palm’s still almost consistently missed the mark. Oh, and don’t get me started on your launch of the Pre3 and the 64GB 1.5GHz TouchPad. That was a friggin’ disaster.

And then, out of nowhere, you decide to dump webOS hardware. In a press release. I was a little frustrated the night before last after the debacle that was the surprise appearance of the new TouchPad. Now I’m furious.

I’m not mad because it’s now in question as to whether this site to which I’ve dedicated more than two years of my life will serve a purpose a year from now (PreCentral is not going anywhere, for the record). I’m not mad because my Pre 2 and TouchPad might not be supported in the coming months, though I’m shocked that those are words I have to write today. I’m enraged because you gave up. You just friggin’ gave up without even trying.

HP, you spent $1.2 billion on buying Palm, plus plenty more purchasing other companies to shore up that investment. That’s not to mention the hundreds of millions you spent developing the TouchPad, webOS 3.0, actually building the TouchPad, Veer, and Pre3, and the marketing you attempted to do. Billions of dollars down the drain.

And now you’re just giving up. Why are you giving up? You said in your press call yesterday that you crunched the numbers and decided it would cost too much over a year or two to develop your webOS products into a competitive lineup. Seriously? Did you not crunch those numbers before you made the decision to buy Palm in the first place?

If you thought that this was going to be easy, that you could just execute on Palm’s old and failing business plan and expect everything to be hunky dory, then you’re just plain stupid.

Palm failed before because they didn’t have the money to execute on their original business plan, and had to make adjustments that ultimately sent them into the death spiral from which you plucked up the company. And then you more or less just continued on that same path? That’s idiotic.

You came to the realization that this wasn’t working. Good on you, you know when to step back and reevaluate things. But instead of redoubling your efforts and refocusing in a better direction, you just threw in the towel. A year ago you were preaching how great webOS was and all of the great things you were going to do with it. I know you’ve never really done OS development like this, but that’s why you bought Palm – they had.

Yesterday you demonstrated your lack of ambition, your lack of commitment to long-term success, and your lack of foresight. I may be just one blogger on one site dedicated to a platform whose very future you’ve put into question, but I can guarantee that I’m not alone in these thoughts.

I used to have respect for you. I actually liked the direction that you were shepherding webOS and how it would fit into your grand cloud and services plans. But now, I have zero respect for you. I can’t see myself buying any HP products in the future, though if things go the way you’re planning, the only HP product I as a consumer will be able to buy are printers. Big whoop.

I think what has really sent me over the edge is how you’ve treated everybody from Palm. Yeah, I’m going to start calling it Palm again. They were all moving along like busy bees on the next generation of webOS hardware, getting the App Catalog filled with qualities apps, and iterating the next improvements to webOS. And then you pulled the rug out from under them without any warning. They all – even webOS PR – found out about this move through your press release or sites like this one. Heck, not even executives like Todd Bradley or Stephen DeWitt seemed to know that this was going to happen. Palm was full of good people, trying their best to do good things, and you told them that what they do wasn’t important to HP.

I’ve never, I repeat, never, been so disappointed, frustrated, and angered by a single company. HP, you botched almost everything you could possibly botch with webOS, and now when things didn’t go as well as you would have liked – almost entirely because of your missteps – you give up. That’s the mark of a really classy company right there.

Screw you,