Eric Cador (@ecador) is, or perhaps was, the senior vice president of the Personal Systems Group in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) for HP.
HP beat their own chest
In May, just 3 months ago, he predicted that the HP tablet would not only beat the iPad but more than just #1 would become #1-plus. Kind of like a hardware vendors equivalent to Google+ I suppose.
I'm not picking on Mr Cador. But he went public and PR with his hapless prediction, spread it far and wide, and even roped in his colleagues with his explanation "We call it number one plus". Well they were suffering group-delusions as a fair few predicted, including my good self.
Does HP's TouchPad have a hope against the iPad? July 1, CRN Australia
My comment at that time: "HP obviously have a vision for the tablet which extends to them matching the Apple, Android and MS ecosystems (meaning in the main developers + music). Personally I don't see it at all, and without that ecosystem a tablet is just another piece of junk - a boat anchor."
Group think surely a culprit
Group think is a common corporate disease, and when you are as stove-piped as HP (as is commonly known) it is even more deadly.
My boat anchor prediction came true and now HP has thrown it overboard, not even 7 weeks after it's launch.
Credit where credit is due
I'll give HP credit for this - the person that so quickly pulled the plug and killed the whole WebOS tablet line of business today did a brave thing, corporately. That is impressive. These kinds of project generate a life of their own, and it is tremendously hard to bring them to heel.
Rather than die a death of a thousand cuts someone stepped up to the plate. The question: is that person most likely to be someone from within the delusional project or from outside it?
The answer is obvious and that's probably the result of some very tough metrics being imposed upon the project from the outside, and the project failing to meet them. The metrics probably came from the Group Finance function.
WebOS is worthless
I notice that there is a lot of discussion about HP selling the WebOS operating system. I'd say the people who believe that WebOS is worth anything are the same people who thought that the HP tablet would be a great success. Sure, according to all the geek accounts it seems like a very well constructed operating system. And where did that get the tablet - directly to failure, don't pass GO!
WebOS IS worth something, a token, to a manufacturer in a niche equipment market. Otherwise, speaking in the context of the global phone and tablet market, it is worthless, literally. It's been proven once, or was that twice given that Palm failed as well. Who would feel the urge to take the risk one more time? Knock yourself out if you'd like to try. I'll make my prediction right here - it will fail again.
Why? Because it's not about the operating system or the hardware, they are only tickets to the game, not the game.
Perfect storm - the big mobile world re-order
Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Nokia's implosion and its deal with Microsoft, HP's tablet launch disaster, the patent wars, are all signalling a massive shake-up and re-alignment in the mobile world and "non-PC" world. Hang on for the ride, it's going to be tremendously exciting.
Throw into that mix cloud computing, and social business, and collaborative commerce, and you have a perfect storm for massive business reinvention. And many David's will emerge to kill the Goliaths.
What do you think HP did wrong in assessing the success of their tablet?
How will the tablet wars pan out and who will be left standing?
Please comment below.