1963 – Hewlett Speeches

Box 1, Folder 37 – General Speeches


February 14, 1963 – “The Importance of Being Wrong,” Brigham Young University, Provo, UT


2/14/63, Draft of speech handwritten by Hewlett


Speaking to his audience of students, Hewlett says “the three most difficult statements for people to make are: I don’t know, I don’t understand, and I was wrong.” Saying that while any one of these would be worth considerable discussion, he wants to talk about the subject of being wrong while in the pursuit of truth, first in the context of scientific and engineering endeavors, and, secondly,  as it might apply in the field of management.


Looking at the matter of being wrong as it might apply in field of science, Hewlett goes back to the Greek era – and to Aristotle in particular. “Aristotle,…the pupil of Plato, the teacher of Alexander the Great,” he says, “is important because of his profound influence on the scientific thought of the Western world.”


In explaining Aristotle’s approach to science, Hewlett says “…he believed in the natural path of investigation, starting with that which is observed and readily observable and evident, and proceeds to the more self-evident and intrinsically more intelligible. From these intelligible principles observable facts can be predicted and verified by experiment. From such experiments come confirmation or refutation of the applicable intelligible principle, i.e., success or failure – right or wrong. Some conclusion would be reached and action taken. Progress was made by some correct decision, some action.


“Aristotle,” Hewlett says, “is alledged [sic] to have stated that in his work he learned more through a study of his failures than from a review of his successes.” Hewlett notes that while this is a “truism,” it is “more often observed in the breach than in its observance.” But he emphasizes the point that after action comes observation and then analyses.


“Aristotle’s approach, as important as it was scientifically, had certain weaknesses,” Hewlett tells his audience. “…it presupposed a theory and set about to prove it rather than the more wide open theory of investigation that studied general principles, rather than seeking to prove a theory.”


“A second failure of the Aristotelian approach was the acceptance of the ‘self-evident’ or ‘generally accepted’ basis for subsequent theory,” Hewlett says. He tells how Copernicus, in 1530, completed his treatise saying the sun was the center of the solar system. This was a challenge to the commonsense feeling that the solid and immovable earth was at the center, with the sun and other planets rotating around it. And, for the first time, it was a challenge to the authority of Aristotle himself.


“The reaction to Copernicus,” Hewlett says, “was typified by the comment of Francis Bacon who said of Copernicus that he was a man who ‘thinks nothing of introducing fiction of any kind into nature, provided his calculations turn out well.’”


And  Hewlett tells how, three-fourths of a century later, Isaac Newton “knocked out theory and created new fiction – gravity. It was only a matter of time before his fiction was accepted as theory and, in turn, was to be modified by the 20th century fiction of Einstein’s relativity.”


“Therefore,” Hewlett tells the students, “you have a responsibility to question – not that you will all be Newtons or Einsteins – but in the day to day world that surrounds you, you will find many things that ‘always have been done’ – but that does not make them correct. All of this [is] to say that in science man’s progress has been made by the questioning of ‘authority’ by more advanced theory, the proving out of the new theory…with resultant advancements – and in time the now old authority [becomes] challenged by new ‘fiction.’ ”


Hewlett moves on to show how all this has application to the world of management – or, more specifically, decision making.


He says, “In a group your reputation is built by a series of good decisions, large and small. Some mistakes will be tolerated particularly if it is noted that you learn from them. A long series of decisions that have stood up gain you leadership among your associates. Your own success can be judged when more and more people both at your organizational level and above seek advice. When people no longer question why a decision is made but merely accept your views, you are on the road to being an expert (ugh) and have achieved leadership in that field.


“All of which is a long way of saying that personal progress is made in management by your skill in successful decision making and not by not making decisions.”


Dealing with Failure.

“Failure can be a shattering experience. What to do about it.” Hewlett advises maintaining equilibrium, “don’t panic – ask yourself how big was the failure, who thinks it is a failure. Is it indeed a failure – not to be defensive, but self analytic – to learn from experience. One of the hardest things about failure is to recognize it as an opertunity [sic]. One of the hardest questions is ‘Was it me or was it bad luck.’ A time for self-analysis, often an inflated ego, toughest when [failure] comes after a long series of good decisions. A sense of infallibility has been established – all the more reason to get back on beam….Sometimes failure comes from being too much of a perfectionist with a resultant inability to make a key decision, for not making a decision is often as much a decision as making one.”


Hewlett tells the students that as they start out in the world as junior employees they “have a right and a responsibility in your mind to challenge the status quo of your new environment – to ask questions, to listen and to learn. In due course I’m sure you will want to make constructive suggestions. Not all organizations, – not all supervisors, are the same. In a good organization, with a good supervisor, consideration will …be given to thoughtful suggestions and their source noted.” He tells them they may be rebuffed, and he councils moderation in such circumstances; “but above all,” he says, “remember your reaction to this disinterest and vow to be more responsive when you are in an equivalent position.”



Hewlett concludes with a quote from a book ‘The Art of Decisions Making,’ by Joseph D. Cooper:


‘The aftermath of decision is action and the aftermath of action often brings some measure of failure. In a sense, anything short of perfection constitutes a fraction of failure. However failure is to be avoided, when it comes you must learn from it.’


Hewlett continues, saying, “I know of many people who have great ability and good ideas – but who are afraid to act for fear of being wrong. I know of others who are such perfectionists that unless every eye is dotted and T crossed they will make no decision – take no action.”


“In a measure, my being here today is proof of what I say for this is but an imperfect presentation of a very important phylosophical [sic] point. I am willing to be called wrong, but even here I have a hedge, for to those of you who do not agree, who believe I am wrong, at least I am practicing what I am preaching. But to those of you who agree I may have made some small contribution.”




Box 1, Folder 38 – General Speeches


April. 1963 – “The Changing Scene of Engineering,” Tokyo Section of  IEEE


4/63, Outline of speech handwritten by Hewlett


Hewlett says he has not been active in the IEEE for the last 8-9 years, although one of the HP Vice Presidents is a VP of IEEE.


Therefore, he says he would like to talk about long term trends in science, particularly engineering trends —  the recent merger of IEEE and AIEE being one example.

II Background


  1. [Science] is growing exponentially – 90% of scientists are now alive, double every 10-15 years.

Problems of education

Uses and control

  1. Overall growth [of science] consists of whole series of lesser growths – some arrested and now static – some declining like steam locomotives.


  1. As science becomes more complex there are some significant changes taking place that I believe are worthy of noting. One of these is the tendency of all sciences to spread out and overlap related areas.


III Engineering


  1. Military engineering – civil engineering
  2. New fields – specialists, ME, EE
  3. IRE, AIEE,
  4. Educational process follows – how to do courses
  5. Professional consultants
  6. Changing pattern

1.   Professional to employee

  1. Some fields peter out – mining engineer
  2. New societies spring up, like IRE – some short lived
  3. Professional group section in IRE
  4. Technical committee  AIEE


  1. Significant of new phenomenon
  2. Areas of related interest spreading out
  3. Other areas finding commonality
  4. Concept of team approach
  5. The broader base of science has encouraged companies to speak out on new areas, thus the phenomenon of everyone speaking out on new areas, getting into each others fields. – rubber into petrochemical, petrochemical into plastic, chemical into drugs…


III What to do about it.


  1. Recognize it as it happens
  2. Education as it happens
  3. Develop management skill to cope with it.
  4. Be prepared to adapt marketing, strategize to exploit own ideas and to react to others.
  5. Be as flexible and mobile as possible – both in technical and management sense. A fixed position is just as obsolete as the Maginot Line.
  6. As to the merger of IRE and AIEE, it was the recognition of facts and a symbol of the changing times. It was a wise and courageous move, and one from which we may learn something about the problems of overlapping disciplines.



Box 1, Folder 39 – General Speeches


May, 1963 – “An Executive View of Industrial Planning,” Before the Conference on Planning for Industrial Growth, sponsored by the Stanford Research Institute, Stockholm Sweden


5/63, Typewritten, double-spaced draft of Hewlett’s speech with several notations in his handwritting.


Hewlett says he “looks forward to the opportunity to visit with many of you and to learn of the similarity of problems on both sides of the Atlantic. I hope that later in the day I may have the opportunity to discuss subjects of mutual interest with members of the conference.” For those who come to the western U.S. he extends an invitation to visit HP’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California. He says HP has employed several young men from Scandinavian countries,  and, “without exception these young men have been highly regarded by their American colleagues and a number of long lasting friendships have been established.”


In considering what he might say about the subject of industrial planning he wondered what light “an executive from a relatively small electronics firm” might “cast on this subject when there are representatives from so many world famous companies participating in  these discussions” He says he concluded that there was one important field of planning “where the experiences of my own company might be of value – the field of planning in a growth company.”


Hewlett says he has seen HP grow ten-fold over the last ten years, growing from “500 employees in a single plant to more than 6000 employees spread through ten plants in the U.S. and two in Europe.”


He says he has had the opportunity to observe “the transition from the highly informal planning which is characteristic of a small company, to the clear recognition of the requirements and advantages to be derived from a more precise corporate planning program.” Saying that the advantages of such a program are “abundantly clear,” he gives one example: “Ten years ago,” he says, “if we wished to expand our production by a ten percent increment, it was relatively easy to find a thousand square meters or so of additional space to house this increment. Now, a ten-percent increment requires more than ten thousand square meters of plant space, and our experience has indicated that to locate, plan, construct and equip such a facility takes almost two years. This single fact alone has forced planning out by at least that length of time. In addition, there must be parallel planning to insure that there will be production workers, supervisors and managers…to staff this addition.”


Hewlett says he would like to continue the discussion on the subject of planning in a growth company, particularly with “the transitional  phase that starts with the individual personal planning of the chief executive, [which is] so characteristic of a small company, and carry it through some of the steps that ultimately produce the more formal planning associated with a large corporation.”


He says he would like to do this “by means of a hypothetical company – a company that is a composite of all that I have observed. In discussing this hypothetical company, I would like to postulate that it has certain characteristics – one of the most important of these would be that it has had good management. This good management has been adequate to provide it with the type of product planning necessary for small company growth and further has provided it with financial planning sufficient to solve the fiscal problems associated with growth. The company has been able to establish a marketing organization that is reasonably efficient in the distribution of its products; and finally, and most important, the company has reached a size that taxes the span of control of the chief executive as yet unaided by strong staff support.”


“It is at this point,” Hewlett says, “that the prior skill and foresight of the chief executive in his alter ego as corporate-planner will show up. Does he have the executive material [available inside the company], trained and ready to help him share the increasing administrative load – or must he go outside the company to find such help? To have been ready for this need, he must long ago have anticipated such a requirement and have committed the company to the added expense of hiring junior personnel with less experience than required for the job but with promise of great potential for executive development.”


Hewlett admits that such preparation “takes courage to do, for the horizon of the small growth company is never very far ahead. It is truly difficult without the elaborate planning staff of a large company to predict future growth. All the chief executive can conclude is that the company is doing as well today as yesterday, – that he sees no worse storm clouds ahead than in years past, and that having experienced a certain average growth rate for the past few years he must be prepared for the problems that will arise if such growth continues in the future. In a gross sense, these are the bases on which the additional overhead of executive training must rest.”


Following the further development of this hypothetical company, Hewlett says, “It must have a second echelon of management capable of sharing the responsibilities of administration with the chief executive. This staff was either developed from within the organization in which case the transition can often be made smoothly or it was obtained from outside the company and the transition may be considerably more difficult. Regardless of the source of such personnel, the delegation of responsibility to the staff creates new problems within the organization. One such problem is the need for a clear set of broad corporate objectives – of corporate goals to guide top management. Often these corporate objectives have been locked in the mind of the chief executive and were never clearly expressed or even fully thought out. The formalization of goals and the acceptance of them by all is an important step in …corporate planning. Time may change them in detail or even in some major aspect but these goals, these objectives will ultimately become the backbone of the more formal corporate planning to follow.”


Increasing size brings many problems which, Hewlett says “in a small company may be solved almost on a day-by-day [basis], but which in a large company require much longer lead times and therefore, better long-range planning….Another example of the need for increased lead time with [increasing] size, is related to the necessity to have an adequate supply of trained personnel, [not only] at the management level, [but] at the foreman and supervisory level, to meet the demands of growth. As a small company, such needs are not hard to fill. A large company may find it desirable to establish in-plant training programs to assure the availability of such people as needed.”


The area of “plans and procedures” is another field where Hewlett says, increased planning is required as the company grows larger. “In the small company,” he says, “ where communication is less of a problem, greater flexibility exists with respect to adapting procedures to meet changing requirements. As a company grows, much of this flexibility is lost and much more planning is required in the development of new procedures to insure that they are in themselves flexible enough to adapt to the changing environments without disrupting the normal operation of the company.


“Closely related to this problem is that of internal accounting procedures…to revamp this important phase of accounting to accommodate the greater volume and complexity of the firm. Changes in such procedures are highly critical for they are the standards by which performance is measured. It is important, therefore that when such changes are made that they be made only after the most careful study and planning. Planning to insure that the new accounting procedures will be viable despite the changing patterns of growth.


“A final step towards formal corporate planning must be taken if size and geographical disbursement indicates a move toward management decentralization. Without corporate planning such decentralization can lead to corporate anarchy. The objectives, the goals, the inter-operation of all elements of the decentralized company must be carefully planned if full advantage is to be taken of the inherent assets of a large corporation, yet at the same time capitalize on the flexibility that lies in the smaller operating unit. If I may return to our own company for a moment – our entry into the European market added much to our understanding of  the need for better planning, for it forcibly took us out of  our domestic environment where many functions and operations had been taken for granted and forced us to look objectively at them for the first time. This look gave us a better insight into such areas as flow of funds, transfer of know-how, market strategy, management rotation and the like. As a result of such planning, we have been able to adapt ourselves to our new environment and, indeed, benefit greatly from our new associations, not only in a technical sense but in the broad area of mutual understanding.”


Hewlett says people in Europe are more accustomed to a multi-country environment and “may fail to realize the truly stimulating effect of moving out of your home country environment,  which inevitably tends to be restricted in view, and into other countries of the world where one has the opportunity to observe the many and varied approaches both to the day to day and long term problems that face an industrial concern. For us, the planning that led to our markets in Europe has proved to be an indirect but important key to better international understanding by our entire top staff.”


In closing, Hewlett says he has “just touched on a few highlights of the step-by-step growth of planning that leads to a more mature company. “I have dealt,” he says, “with the structural aspects of this development rather than with the more obvious and more widely recognized need for product planning, for market planning, or for financial planning. Indeed, each of these is a major subject in  itself. One of these, product planning, is a subject for discussion during the afternoon session.


“As I look back on our own experiences, I am convinced of the fact that, almost without exception, we have not initiated a given planning program until appreciably after the need was first evident. If I had the ability to relive this phase of our development, one of the aspects on which I would lay the greatest stress would be an earlier recognition of the need for planning. We have lived through this phase but we could have done better.”


5/63,  Typewritten, single spaced, copy of Hewlett’s speech. Has no notations added and does not incorporate the handwritten notations he had added on the copy noted above.



Box 1, Folder 40 – General Speeches


May 23, 1963 – Testimony at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, San Francisco, CA


5/23/63, Copy of typewritten text of Hewlett’s remarks


Hewlett says that he hopes, as a representative of the Western Electronic Manufacturers Association [WEMA], “to give some indication to this Committee about the steps being taken by the electronics industry in the West to increase its share of trade in the Pacific area.”


He says the electronics industry is so diffuse that a detailed analysis of the overall export program could not be given without “a tremendous amount of research. Lacking the time to undertake such a survey he says “I will therefore be forced to deal in either broad generalizations about the industry or by means of specific references to the experience of my own company.”


“Electronics” he says, “ in California is the seventh ranking industry in this State in terms of export.” Behind aircraft, food products, and petroleum, “it is still an important and significant phase of the State economy.” Based on data that he has been able to gather, including various governmental reports, Hewlett reports that “as far back as 1957 (the most current data available), California was the third ranking state in the export of electronic equipment in the U.S. Although it may be very difficult to obtain an exact estimate of the distribution of U.S. electronic products, it is possible to make a reasonable estimate based on the very close correlation that exists between the sale of precision electronic test and measuring equipment and the total electronic market. This is exactly the field in which my company, the Hewlett-Packard Company, is engaged – and thus a study of the U.S. Department of Commerce classifications covering this category of products,  as well as our own experience, gives a reasonable clue to the relative importance of various world trade areas for U.S. electronic products. Using the most currently available…that of 1961, one finds the following approximate breakdown of the market areas of the world:


Europe – 50%

Canada – 20%

The Pacific area including India and Pakistan – 15%

The rest of the world – 15%


“A more careful scrutiny of the 15% of the exports that go to the Pacific area reveals that 75% of the product goes to 3 countries – Japan, Australia and India, and the remaining 25% to the 15 other countries listed in the Department of Commerce survey.”


Noting the higher percentage of exports to Europe, Hewlett says “U.S. industry in general has not been particularly export minded. It is really only in the past decade that the full importance and potentialities of the export market are being appreciated by American industry,”


Hewlett inserts a related thought: “In passing, I might comment that the 1962 changes to the Revenue Act as they affect taxation of foreign income were in my opinion most unfortunate. At a time when every effort should be made to encourage trade, these revisions I am afraid, will have exactly the opposite effect. There certainly were certain abuses of the existing law but why try to carve a chicken with a meat cleaver.”


Returning to his primary subject, and referring back to the rather recent recognition of the importance of exports by American industry, he says “It is quite natural that the industry world tend to look first at the most important market areas – Europe and Canada, and only after these markets were reasonably in hand to such secondary markets as the Pacific area.


“From this fact, it an be concluded that reasonable opportunities may exist for expansion of electronic exports to the Pacific area.”


Hewlett says customers for electronic equipment are “generally found  in those countries [with] a reasonable degree of sophistication in their industries, or have a large internal military demand. It is for this reason, I believe, that one finds the heavy predominance of electronic exports to such countries as Japan and Australia. Let me discuss …some of the problems of expanding exports to these countries as well as some of the steps that are being taken to overcome them.”




Hewlett says Japan is greatly concerned with its balance of payments and “husbands her reserve of dollars with great care. Thus, U. S. exporters to Japan

face serious limitations on import licenses and dollar exchange available for [imported] products. Unless Japan can export more of its manufactured products, it is unable to increase its imports.” Hewlett feels U. S. policy towards Japan has been “liberal and enlightened.” But Europe, on the other hand, he says,  has “…by one means or another managed to restrict seriously the import of Japanese products. He recommends that the U.S., therefore, “continue to push, in the most vigorous fashion possible, for a more enlightened policy by our European allies in this respect.”


Hewlett says “Many American electronic manufacturers are establishing manufacturing operations in Japan in an attempt to increase the sale of products  [there.]” He says these operations are usually established in conjunction with a Japanese partner. Hewlett feels these operations will inevitably lead to an increase in exports [from] the U. S.  “Part of this increase in exports will come in the form of components whose specialized nature precludes their manufacture in Japan -part [will come] in the form of fabricated items which can be more economically manufactured in the U. S.,  and part through improving the reputation of American made products, thus increasing the share of import dollars made available for their purchase. Part [of the increased exports from the U.S will come] from the export of U.S. production machinery which may be necessary to support local manufacturing.  Our own experience with the establishment of manufacturing operations in Europe has borne out these factors. We have found that our total export of manufactured items to Europe has increased at a rate substantially larger than our domestic market, and further, that it is necessary to import almost 70% of our components and materials from the U.S. to support these foreign manufacturing plants.”


“Up until recently it was not possible for products of foreign manufacturers to be displayed at…trade shows in Japan,” Hewlett says. On the other hand, he points out that Japanese products are regularly displayed at trade shows in the U.S.


He says some progress is being made for U. S. products to be shown in Japan, saying that “two booths may be assigned to the Scientific Apparatus Makers Association at a show later in the year.”


And Hewlett adds that at HP they “have found that some of the steps taken by the U.S. government to promote the sale of U.S. manufactured products in Japan have been most successful. In 1961,” he says, “we had an exhibit at the U.S. Department of Commerce exhibit at the Tokyo trade fair and found this to be a most valuable means to make known to the Japanese on a broad base the character of our products.”




“Australia, like Japan, has a serious shortage of dollar exchange,” Hewlett says. And he adds that the discovery of oil in Australia may help alleviate this problem.


Australia has a high import duty regulations on electronic products, Hewlett says. He suggests that it would be helpful if the U. S. government urged Australia to ease this problem, although he doubts they would be receptive to any such requests “as long as there are equivalent clauses in the ‘Buy America’ act.”




Hewlett feels that India, with its large population, should be a prime target for U.S. products, although he says they, too, have a difficult currency exchange problem. He says, “The long range policy of lending every assistance to India to facilitate a limited degree of industrialization will do much to hasten the day when India’s balance of payments problems will be lessened, and it will be in a position to import, on a freer base, manufactured products from the U.S.”


Hewlett says other countries such as Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia may become important export markets for U.S. electronics, but the “primitive state” of their industry limits imports now.


“In conclusion,” Hewlett says, “it can be said that to date the Pacific area has represented only a small fraction of the world export market for U.S. electronic products, and that only most recently has increased attention been focused on this market area.


“Sales penetration of the market will undoubtedly take the form of local manufacturing coupled with more aggressive sales effort. U.S. help to date through the media of trade fairs and trade centers at least in the more developed countries has been of value.


“Finally, any factors which improve the balance of payments position of customer nations will have a direct and beneficial effect on U.S. exports of electronic equipment.”


8/28-29/62, Booklet titled “Pacific Trade Patterns”  containing the hearings before the Senate Committee on Commerce in August 1962, which Hewlett no doubt obtained as background for his remarks.

5/31/63, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Senator Clair Engle in which he requests a copy of the proceedings of the Senate Committee on Commerce in San Francisco in May, 1963

5/23/63, Copy of a statement by George L. Mehren on the subject of agricultural exports given at the Senate hearing in 1963



Box 1, Folder 41 – General Speeches


July 15, 1963, Talk to HP Senior Sales Seminar


For years, HP had sold its products through independent sales representatives. In late 1962, HP completed negotiations with all sales representatives to acquire them, most through the exchange of stock. These remarks by Hewlett appear to be given at the first meeting of all of the senior sales people, including those overseas, as HP people rather than as independent representatives.


7/15/63, Handwritten speech written by Hewlett on notebook lined paper

Hewlett says this is the first “Full Sales Group” meeting and the 1962 meeting was the last sales representative seminar. He says he knows there is much apprehension among those attending as to the details of the new organization and how it all will work – apprehension about “change.” He says “I would like to single out this question of “change” and look at it carefully – pick it up by its heels, turn it around, examine it top and bottom.


 “There are going to be changes,” he says, underlining it twice in his notes.

And saying that there will be many types of change, he starts with “Changes in Conformity.”


Using the analogy of gears, he says not all gears of their new organization are yet meshing. “And,” he says, “usually [where gears don’t mesh] it isn’t the ‘bull’ gear that does the changing – specifically, there will be some areas where conformity is both necessary and desirable. He enumerates these


  1. One obvious field is accounting and accountants
  2. Not all changes to conform to parent sales organization. Different than manufacturing – desirable that there be some similarity between sales organization in different parts of the country.
  3. Why conformity when in the next breath we will talk about the advantages of decentralization….Effective management is a complex mixture of likeness and differences. From differences spring new ideas, new techniques. From likeness can come true comparison of results, flexibility that will allow transfer of a man from one job to a more promising and challenging one in another area – the ability of the whole organization to work together as an effective unit.
  4. Change, because now we can do some things in an integrated fashion which were not possible when our organizations were separate. Changes that will allow us to more effectively present our wares to the customer – more effectively give him the service and backing that spells future sales.


  1. Order processing
  2. Area stocking
  3. More effective transportation


Change because we must adapt to changing environments


  1. Competition
  2. Government regulation
  3. New technologies


Change is not necessarily bad


A.   Tendency to resist change – no one likes it

  1.  Good changes bad changes, no changes
  2. We do not want change for change’s sake – we do want no change for no change’s sake
  3. Deep responsibility for those who cause change – results not always evident


Living with Change


  1. Do not want to give the impression that we are going to change the     hell out of everything – far from it. You were all successful in your [business] – why change more than absolutely necessary. Will not be capricious, worked out with principle.
  2. No point in looking back at the ‘good old days’…
  3. We are all part of one organization. Let’s all get our shoulders to the wheel and push.”




“There may be change in form and detail, but not in basic principle.


  1. HP is in the business of developing, manufacturing and selling quality measuring equipment – when possible, of making a contribution to the art, at the lowest possible cost consistent with long range picture.


  1. We are in business for the long haul and not for the quick buck. This means that in field of selling we must know as much as possible about the equipment we are selling so that we can intelligently recommend the proper equipment for the proper job. This is a relentless and unending job – to the extent that you are successful at this task you will be welcomed back – next week, or next year.


  1. It is our continuing desire to make it as easy as possible for the customer to procure maintenance and receive the finest possible follow up service for his HP products you people are selling and have the unique responsibility to see that these objectives are met. You stand between the customer and the plants. You are a spokesman from the company to the customer is obvious – that you are a spokesman for the customer to the plant is, however, equally important. If you overlook this aspect of your job your long range effectiveness will be greatly impaired and never forget it.”


“So let’s get in and make this the best senior sales seminar ever – let’s quit worrying about the past and think about the future.”



Box 1, Folder 42 – General Speeches


August 12, 1963 – Talk at Scope Plant Ground Breaking Ceremony, Colorado Springs, CO


8/12/63, Handwritten notes by Hewlett for his remarks at this ceremony.

8/12/63,  Typewritten copy of same, somewhat expanded.


Hewlett says that when he and Packard first started thinking about starting up a company in 1934,  they had tentatively planned on doing so in Denver, Colorado. But by 1939 they “were well established in Palo Alto.”


“[This new plant] is a good deal – one in which both parties feel that they attain value received from the transaction.


“HP wanted :


(1)  A stable, intelligent, hard working labor force, because of the type of  products we make

(2)  A community that was intellectually interesting and stimulating

(3)   A community that was attractive and an interesting place to live.”

(4)   A stable and responsible community that could understand our problems and work with us in resolving them – [we] do not expect special treatment, just a willingness to work out problems;

(5)   And most important, a community that wanted us.”


He says these points are important because “…we need to bring in certain technical and managerial people into the community and these conditions make it more acceptable.”


“I need not tell you people of Colorado Springs that one would find these conditions here. I can tell you that we have indeed found these characteristics here


He says he cannot speak for the city of Colorado Springs, but he can do a little selling on behalf of HP –


“Colorado Springs will be getting:


(1)  A company that is dedicated to a responsible labor policy – stable employment, even sometimes at the expense of short term dollars

(2)  HP will bring technical and managerial personnel into the community that will complement and fit in well with the quality of the community

(3)  [The technical nature of HP’s products] will encourage technical training in the area,  as well as a general endeavor to continue to improve education at all levels

(4)  Tax income and general benefits to the area to be derived from a 10 to 15 million dollar business

(5)  A company that really wants to make a permanent establishment in your community”



Box 1, Folder 43 – General Speeches


September 10, 1963 – Acceptance of Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Instrument Society of America, Chicago, IL


9/10/63, Handwritten notes for his speech, written by Hewlett


With some interpretation of his notes:


Hewlett says he has been interested in ISA activities and their important leadership – he is sorry he has not been able to participate more fully.


ISA is like other organizations – “you have to sing for your supper,” and they “tell you what to talk about – technical contributions Dave and I have made – damn few.”


“Our contributions are really a product of the whole staff. All Dave and I can do is get the best people and provide a good environment.”


As for the environment, he says this includes physical, educational, intellectual, administrative

Problem getting people to move to Palo Alto

Stanford is a source of students, higher education, consultants, intellectual     stimuli, interplay with good technical staff in shops


Company environment most important:

Top management deeply convinced that the future of the company depends on the quality and contribution of the technical effort.


Encourage people’s ideas that may lead to technical breakthroughs and support work


Pays off


Importance of forward effort leads to balanced program


Breakthrough that work contribute to measurement  science


Opportunity of people to develop to fullest


Same horizons we had when we started – reserve for our people


It is the effort of all the people who make the people in the front office look good


9/10/63, Copy of the program for the ISA Honors and Awards Ceremony



Box 1, Folder 44, General Speeches


October 2, 1963 – Indoctrination Seminar for New Field Engineers, Palo Alto, CA


10/2/63,  Handwritten notes by Hewlett for his talk


Most of you will be concerned about selling HP products: what policies, what background, what precedents of the company influence our products, our policies


To understand us you must know about our background and how it affects the company and its people.


Did better on general purpose than on special purpose instruments


Thought when we made a truly basic contribution we were repaid


As a young company we could not afford frills


The Company Today

Appearance of confusion (maybe there is)

Acquisition of sales organization

Some divisions, some subsidiaries, sales new territories


In foreign field same patterns – some are our offices, some are independent representatives

As far as you people are concerned a great confusion of products

Birth pains of a new company – an important new company in the making

You are in part also seeing the working of free enterprise system – the willingness to tolerate some degree of confusion and overlap so that the spark of creativity and innovation may have a chance to be exercised.


What this means to you

A company in motion is a company where excellent advancement of the able is possible, vis-a-vis the stable company


Finally, the idea of the sales engineers as the front door of the company


Corporate Objectives


9/27/63, Memo from Ed Winn to Hewlett confirming arrangements for the seminar and attaching list of field attendees


9/30/64, Memo from Ed Winn to Madelen Schneider, Hewlett’s Secretary, listing other attendees at the seminar



Box 1, Folder 45 – General Speeches


December 2, 1963 – Fred Jones Dinner, Mills College, Oklahoma City OK


12/2/63, Outline of remarks handwritten by Hewlett in pencil on notebook paper


Hewlett discusses the “Case for  Private Colleges, ”and Private education as a national asset. His conclusions are:


1)    U. S. education has developed and prospered because of the important balance between private and public education

2)    Private education is a national asset for students and a source of future faculty

3)    Face a crisis

4)    Mills College