From Seagate to SAP

My Silicon Valley education continues with a visit to the boardroom at Seagate today. Hey, my show needs hard drives. Big drives. So, seemed like I should go see one of the valley’s most famous disk drive manufacturers. Met with Julie Still, Vice President of Corporate Communications along with Brian Ziel, Senior Director, Gina Katz, Manager. Great group of folks and very passionate about disk drives! Anyway, what caught my eye was the headquarters’ address: 900 Disc Drive. Cute!

You rarely think about drives or storage media until they fail. Speaking of which I’m in the market for a 750GB drive. Which one is the best? Seagate’s at the top of my list. I like doing business with friendly people.

Anyway, on Monday I’m off to the SAP conference in Las Vegas to film stuff for my show (will only be there on Monday, John is sticking around for a few more days). Mark Finnern there writes about the day on his blog. Looking forward to meeting the SAP’ers, make sure to say hi if you’re there.

Thanks to’s Andy Plesser for the kind wishes on my show.

In the meantime, there’s another interview I did (with the guys who run the Microsoft Exchange team) at Microsoft that got published today over on Channel 9 (I did quite a few in the weeks before I quit that are still being processed and run).


HP has major ethical problem, day 3

Let’s check in with Google News. Nope, ethical problem still there.

John Furrier, my new boss, used to work at Hewlett Packard. Last night he was telling me how much he loved Hewlett Packard (he hates the new name, which was shortened to “HP”. Yeah, all the employees used to call it “HP” in the old days too, but that was a friendly shortening). He told me how he walked into the founder’s offices once (it wasn’t guarded or closed off separate from the employees) and walked up and said hi. It was an experience that he’ll never forget. He spent a bit telling me about “the Hewlett Packard way” and how it was such an important part of his upbringing as an entrepreneur.

He gave me a little bit of heck for dragging HP into this since it looks like it was just the chairwoman (although the rest of the board is sort of tainted because they didn’t walk out instantly when they found out what was going on). He stood up for the regular employees of HP. “Imagine you’re working in sales at HP, does this affect them?”

I’ve been thinking about that one all night. On one level, obviously no. But, on another? Yes. If your leaders are willing to break the law and spy on not just themselves but on outside parties, how comfortable will people be in dealing with Hewlett Packard?

Anyway, he told me that the Hewlett Packard way is important (the old way, the one before they changed their name, before they started doing this crud) and he wondered if there’s something we can do to bring the Hewlett Packard way back?

Yes. Get rid of Patricia Dunn. Then let’s work together to talk about the cool stuff those engineers are building so the salespeople can feel proud again.

If you let a cancer hang out in your body (the body here being a company) it just gets worse. It’s surgery time. Who has the knife?

Oh, I worked a summer at Hewlett Packard when I was in high school on an assembly line. I agree that the people there were awesome. Just wanted to make it clear that this isn’t about them. Just about one board member who thought that the ends justified the means. If she’s allowed to stay, though, she’ll spread her cancer throughout HP and stain the entire organization. So, it’s time for the good people of Hewlett Packard to stand up and do the right thing. Get rid of the stain on the Hewlett Packard way.