So far, the hardest part of the whole journey was also the big step of deciding to leave the safety and security of HP. HP was my first full-time job out of Berkeley and so it had that feeling of the “first love”. Of course there were ups and downs during my tenure, starting with the HP-Compaq merger right when I started in 2001 to all the re-orgs and finally with the outing of Carly and the change to the new CEO Mark Hurd and CIO Randy Mott.
Before I started at HP, I read many good things about the company, ranging from its reputation as one of the best companies to work for to its history of innovation. HP always seemed to be a case study for something good. And when I first started, one of my first assignments was to read a copy of The HP Way, a book by
Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. All of this resulted in an extremely optimistic outlook on my new career.
I won’t go into the details, but needless to say, HP is no longer on the list of best companies to work for and there have been lots of change. But through it all, I found no matter how much the company changes and how much the CEOs try to change the culture, the HP employees will always be the same good people that made up the HP of old. While HP my not make the best companies list to work for anymore, I firmly believe that the employees are some of the best people in the industry. While other companies seem to focus singularly on having the smartest or most qualified individual, I feel like HP strives to have the best person – people that are good in heart, highly adaptive, great to work with, and of course inventive.
Instead of rambling on and on, I’ll start wrapping up by saying that it was tough to leave HP not because of the job, but because of the good people. If Two-Bit Operation is able to enjoy any kind of growth and success, I hope we can build a culture of people like Hewlett and Packard did because then I know we would be able to build quality and innovative products like the HP of old.
Utimately my decision came down to wanting to be able to take action on something I was passion about. The thrill of being able to build and own something was enough to overcome any anxiety about quitting. The thrill of following Bill and Dave in their footsteps and building a great company out of an idea in a garage…or condo. I’m sure this will all change when 3 months down the line I have a tooth ache and no dental insurance though