A pioneer leaves us, William Hewlet of HP dies at 87

William Hewlett, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, has died today at the age of 87. From the obituary at Yahoo news:

Despite his position and great wealth, Hewlett delighted in working on new products side-by-side with employees or playing penny-ante poker with them.

"He was an incredible person intellectually. He could listen to something and get the gist, the meat of it very quickly - even with Nobel Prize winners,ii James Treybig, the Tandem Computers Inc. founder who spent five years at HP in the late 1960s and early i70s, recalled in 1991. "Yet at the same time he had the ability to relate with people, so everyone would have respect for him. He wasnit a stand-alone president, aloof.ii

Hewlett also was a noted philanthropist, giving tens of millions of dollars to environmental, educational and humanitarian causes individually and through a large family foundation. [...]

Despite his position and great wealth, Hewlett delighted in working on new products side-by-side with employees or playing penny-ante poker with them.

Many of us, when thinking of HP, thinks of a big faceless corporation, the one that turned down Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs when they pitched their very first computer to them prior to starting Apple in the mid-seventies. But we must realize one thing: The grey people, the "suits" are typically midmanagers and board members, not owners and founders of companies. I worked for a few years for a company running training seminars for leaders, and the typical company owner or director is a damn cool guy. If you think about it, he has to be, or he would never go from nothing to having and running a company. The boring, conservative people who resent new ideas are the people whe get sucked into success by the slipstream of this kind of person.

Each one of these men, of whom the world have very few, carry us all forward.

Yours, Eolake


Eolake Stobblehouse is a contributing editor to the Mac Observer, specializing in cultural matters, and comes to us by way of MacCreator. Send your comments and tips here.

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