1983 – Hewlett Speeches

Box 3, Folder 41 – General Speeches


April 6, 1983 – “Productivity,” HP Productivity seminar, Philadelphia, PA

This was seminar, organized much like a trade show. Some 2100 people showed up for HP’s series of presentations.


4/6/83, Outline of speech handwritten by Hewlett


Hewlett says it might be interesting to hear how they, at HP, got into a productivity network and computer use.


He explains that for many years HP was purely an  instrument company, but they found they were having increasing pressure to automate their instruments to control and then reduce data.


He says that in response to this need they “started a line of computers that were rugged – could take the same class B environment as instruments: temperature, line voltage, vibration, and shock. Such computers were not common at that time of ‘hot-house’ computers.” They quickly found that these computers had many uses beyond  instrument control.


“Shortly afterwards,” Hewlett says “they developed a scientific desk top calculator on the rationale that we could sell it to our scientific base customers – actually because we thought it would be fun to do. The pocket [calculator] followed on the same basis.


“After a period of time these products began to have important spin-offs.”


Began to use the mini-computer in many plant wide applications

1)    First, a simple air conditioner controller

2)    Then, machine tool loads


As proficiency with computers grew Hewlett says they began to recognize that they had many more applications other than that of a control room computer.


1) Major system based on dedicated computer:

a)  Computer to computer dial up data entry

b)    Parts inventories

c)     Order processing automation


Uses of desk top calculators in Europe


1)    Advanced units much easier to use for the uninitiated than the former computers with their rigid language structure.

2)    The fact that they were selling more calculators in Europe than in the U.S. caused them to realize the great advantage of the individual but powerful workstation


Hewlett says, “It began to dawn on us that we were smack in the middle of a productivity program and that we had the proven bits and pieces to put such a system together. Further, that most of the necessary basic R&D had already been carried out – not under the heading of a formal R&D account, but carried out and paid for by the various users in the company.


“It was then, and only then, that we began a formal program of documenting and exploiting the particular niche in which we found ourselves.


“What you see and hear at this conference is the result of this effort. These were developed as user-based systems and we very much consider them as such. We solicit your comment and help, for your problems are our problems, and vice versa.


“We clearly see a recognition of the fact that we are both an instrument and a computer company.  The automated lab is one example and the other is the internal use of the computer for our own manufacturing operations:

a)     The next bench syndrome repeated.

b)    The best salesmen we have are our own people, using computers in manufacturing and office management operations.

c)     This is a field we are comfortable in.


4/6/83, Copy of newspaper clipping about the seminar



Box 3, Folder 42 – General Speeches


May 19, 1983 – Ground breaking ceremony, Center for Integrated Circuits, Stanford University, CA


5/19/83, Copy of the typewritten text of Hewlett’s remarks


Hewlett says that the “venture we see taking shape here reminds me of my own good fortune as a first-hand witness to so many of the developments in the field of electronics.”


He tells how, forty years prior, radio tubes, and even simple light bulbs, were used in the design of electronic circuitry. “Then tubes begat transistors; transistors begat printed circuits; printed circuits begat integrated circuits, and so on.”


“Integrated Systems technology,” he says, “is a logical and natural extension of this genealogy. It represents the vertical integration of the semiconductor and systems technologies. Among the small number of universities pursuing this integrated technology, Stanford has shown itself to be outstanding. A notable example is the early application of integrated technology to new medical and rehabilitation devices, such as the optical-to-tactile reading aid for the blind. The Center for Integrated Systems is a commitment to -–and an affirmation of faith in – the belief that joint, coordinated research is the key to the computer of the future and its applications.”


He says CIS is a consortium of 19 major U.S. corporations that have joined Stanford University “to undertake basic and applied research across a broad spectrum of disciplines. These range from semiconductor materials to software for dataprocessing systems. Initially, each sponsoring company has pledged $750,000 toward the construction of the new CIS building. Annual contributions of $100,000 each in partial support of CIS research programs are expected. Further, each sponsor has been invited to send one full-time visiting researcher to the CIS to lend technical support.”


Hewlett describes the physical building, which will house CIS: 70,000 square feet of floor space, including 10,000 of clean rooms for research on large-scale integrated systems. He says the Center will be a “very clear and distinct answer to three of the major problems faced by the United States. First is the failure of our national programs of basic research to keep pace with the needs of our universities and our industries. The second is the need to strengthen our system of education. And the third is the challenge to U.S. trade and technology posed by a number of foreign countries.” He reviews each of these.



Hewlett says for many years America had the reputation as being a “fountainhead of innovation.” And, during the 19th and early 20th centuries the private sector was the stream of innovation – with individuals and business organizations exploring the frontiers of science and utilizing the products of technology.


The role of government as a “massive and then dominant factor in research,” Hewlett says, “grew out of the experiences of World War II. To undertake the various jobs of defense and national security required huge outlays of money and manpower that only a national government could muster.”


The government naturally turned to universities as a source of talent, and ultimately the government became the chief provider of funds for academic research. Industry’s contribution, on the other hand, has been quite modest, according to the National Science Foundation. Hewlett  says industry has contributed “only from 4 to 6 percent of total academic research and development funding …during the years 1960 to 1981.”


Hewlett  points to a National Science Foundation report that shows a trend of significant increases in R&D spending in Japan, West Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Considering the interrelationships of technology and productivity, “some of these countries may surpass the U.S. in productivity if present trends continue,” he says.




Hewlett points to the “distressing problem” of the rule in the U.S. that companies must play on a “level field” – a one-on-one match between competing firms. On he other hand, some foreign countries, as a mater of national policy, become partners with industry. Powerful alliances are formed, cartels encouraged, R&D subsidized, exports subsidized.


“This makes quite a different ball game,” Hewlett says, and he gives some examples: The Boeing Aircraft Company in the U.S. is facing competition from the European Airbus. “Airbus Industries,” he says, “formed by the governments of six European nations, has been highly successful in establishing a major market position. The infusion of large sums of money over an extended period is its chief source of strength. Airbus promotion has included reported economic inducements beyond favorable financing. Examples are landing rights, trade concessions, subsidy to cover airline operating loss, and military equipment. This meant government-to-government negotiations to secure directed procurement of the national airlines to buy Airbus.”


“The government of France has nationalized many of the key industries of that country. The question arises: What will be the terms and conditions for a private-sector company that attempts to compete against these nationalized firms? And what kinds of subsidies will be available to the nationalized firms when competing abroad?”


Another example he gives is in Japan. “Japan,” he says, “represents a clear example of a national commitment to specific industrial goals. One by one, it has targeted major sectors of the international market for sale of its auto, steel, consumer electronics and now computer products. Never before has the world seen such a concerted marshaling of national resources in the name of international trade. To date they have been outstandingly successful with this strategy.”


“It is clear, however,” Hewlett says, “that a response in kind to these and other examples would be contrary to the U.S. tradition of free enterprise and our laws governing competition. I am convinced that our anti-trust laws on the whole have been beneficial to U.S. industry. However, these laws need to be reviewed from time to time in light of changing conditions. In fact, the government has recognized this problem, and the department of commerce has just recently issued new guidelines that exempt shared research projects from anti-trust prosecution, providing they meet certain guidelines.”


Hewlett says CIS is “just such a venture, and one that meets the guidelines of the Commerce Department. More than that it is an imaginative response to the three problems I mentioned: the inadequacy of U.S. spending on basic research, the need to strengthen the educational system, and the deterioration of our competitive position in international trade.”



Beyond the benefits of cooperative ventures like CIS, Hewlett says “industry must also take a more direct and active role in solving problems of educational resources. Foremost among these problems is the declining capacity of U.S. colleges and universities to develop the professional skills that will be needed in many technical fields in the years ahead.


“Two years ago, for example, an American Electronics Association survey of members indicted  major shortfall of graduates in future years. The surveyed firms projected a need of from 10,000 to 25,000 more graduates than our colleges and universities expect to produce.


“Part of the problem is in the shortage of funds to provide adequate faculty salaries. Most recent estimates place the engineering faculty shortage as one in ten, with even larger gaps for some of the more specialized technologies.”


Hewlett sees ways that industry can help. “One is to provide incentives that will make such faculty positions more attractive and competitive. As an example, Hewlett-Packard Company has committed $6 million to develop new electrical engineering and computer science faculty at 22 selected universities between 1982 and 1987.


“The program, developed jointly with the American Electronics Association, is designed to redirect the career interest of some superior students toward academia instead of industry. Its specific objective is to develop university faculty members, not Ph.D. graduates who will then be recruited by industry.”


“Finally, our pre-college education system is clearly in deep trouble with regard to the teaching of sciences and mathematics. A 1982 survey disclosed shortages of high school teachers of math, chemistry and physics in most of our states. Other studies tell us that the graduates of our secondary schools have fallen behind their counterparts of a number of other countries in quantitative skills and in understanding of science.”


“Let me conclude by offering my heartiest congratulations to the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, the sponsoring companies, and especially the co-directors –Professor John Linville and Professor James (Jim) Meindl – for your faith and support in bringing CIS so close to reality. Thank you.”




Box 3, Folder 43 – General Speeches


September 14, 1983 – “The Full Circle: Science Education and the Liberal Arts,” Oakland, CA


9/14/83, Copy of typewritten text of speech. Hewlett, a former trustee of Mills College, received the honorary Doctor of Laws degree and gave the following speech:


Hewlett says he wants to provide some historical background on the difficulty of  establishing education in the sciences in the early 19th century, and how, once established, it recognized the essential nature of liberal education. “Now,” he says, “the circle is closed, and liberal arts needs to recognize the generality of science.”


Hewlett says he was stimulated  to study the growth of science education by a book he came across some years earlier called ‘Technology and the Academics,’ by Eric Ashby, wherein Ashby described the difficulties in introducing science education into the universities of England. Hewlett says he will base much of his introduction to the subject on the problems in England since “many of the techniques used to solve these problems found their way into this country.”


Based on Ashby’s book, Hewlett says the English universities in the 19th century had little interest in science – somewhat better in Scottish schools. The situation was better on the continent – scientific inquiry flourished in France. Students from abroad came to Germany to study the new emphasis on science.


By the mid to late 1800s Hewlett says the “British began to realize that a knowledge of science was in the national interest if England was to continue its dominant position in the field of manufacturing. Darwin’s Origin of the Species, published in 1859, generated a tremendous interest in England…an interest that sparked the final effort for an introduction of science into higher education.”


Hewlett says “Education in the United States in some ways tracked what was happening in England. Of the three oldest colleges in the U.S., Harvard and Yale were founded primarily for the training of ministers…. The general level of education was low.”


In the 19th century, pressure rose for some technical education in the U.S. Hewlett describes how, “in response to this need, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in 1859, and was modeled after the English technical institutes. Thirty-five years earlier, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute had been founded in upper New York state and was modeled after the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. In 1847, Lawrence Science School was founded and 25 years later, was incorporated into Harvard as the Graduate school of Applied Science.”


“U.S. education was strongly influenced by parallel developments in England and on the continent, modified to fit its own needs.” Science had been established as an essential component of higher education.


“By the end of the first World War it became apparent that some element of liberal education should be required in the purely technical schools. In the mid-thirties, John Buchard set up a department of Humanities at MIT….A second step had been taken and science now firmly established, began to move back towards liberal education.


“ The final step is now upon us – the recognition that science education is an essential part of any liberal education.” To expand on this thought Hewlett talks about the computer. “I chose this subject,” he says, “because of its high visibility, but one must remember that a computer is only a product of science. In discussing computers and education, I am not talking about computer aided education, but the actual use [of  computers] by students themselves.


“The uses in undergraduate education are diverse and hard to define,” he says. “The library is one of the first possible applications where a terminal can easily replace the old card file, but its uses are far more general. I inquired at Stanford about undergraduate usage, and to my surprise found that 20% of undergraduate computer time was used by students in the Humanities and Social Sciences. I was also informed that there is an increasing demand for computers as word processors, obviously for reports and term papers. For one of the new dormitories, serious consideration is being given to providing a terminal for each student.


“Graduate usage of computers is more obvious, particularly as a research tool. Most areas of research can make effective use of computers for such purposes as the study of ancient and modern languages to statistical studies in social sciences, for management of research libraries to printing texts prepared in such fonts as Greek and Cyrilic. [sic]


Hewlett says “The role of science in a liberal arts college should not be to turn out professional chemists or physicists. The role of science teaching should be to provide students with sufficient knowledge of science to allow them to make their own judgments and not to depend solely on others.“


“If science is essential, how do we go about introducing it into liberal arts education,” Hewlett asks. He sees two parts to this problem one related to primary and secondary schools, and the other related to the college and university structure. “Our secondary school structure has been deteriorating for 20 years,” he says. “It is indeed a disaster. We are not going to correct it overnight. I will not dwell further on this subject, but I am reminded that all my children went to Palo Alto High School, which had a fine science department. When the old science teacher retired, the football coach replaced him.


“At the college level, I am convinced that some form of basic science must be required of all students. This may not be greeted with uniform enthusiasm. I did not enjoy taking western civilization, but nonetheless, I think these basic courses must be introduced. In general, science teaching should be designed to stress the basic laws that govern the way the physical world operates. To achieve this, certain tools are necessary. Mathematics is one of them. If a Freshman is deficient in math, perhaps there should be a course in ‘dumb-bell’ math, but please don’t call it that. A second would be a working knowledge of statistics, for example, one should know why using the average of averages can lead to serious errors.


“And finally, why am I discussing science in a liberal arts college to such a diverse group – freshmen to seniors, graduate students and faculty and guests in general? For the entering classes, the purpose is obvious. For the upper classes, a warning of future needs should be evident. For the guests, a reminder that in this day and age, there is no end to learning. Once it was thought that after having received a degree from a college or university, studies were over. We can no longer rest on this concept. Education must be viewed as a current and never ending process.”


9/14/83, Copy of the Convocation Program



Box 3, Folder 44 – General Speeches


November 21, 1983 – AEA 40th Anniversary Remarks, Location not given


11/21/83, Copy of typewritten text of talk with handwritten notes by Hewlett


Looking back forty years Hewlett recalls the early days of the organization that was to become AEA [American Electronics Association]. “That group had a membership of 25 companies,” he says. “The Hewlett-Packard Company had 45 employees, the transistor, the integrated circuit, and the microprocessor had yet to be invented. Computing was in its infancy, and Dave Packard and I were a whole lot younger.


“Today, the American Electronics Association is celebrating its fortieth anniversary with 2400 member companies representing one-and-a-quarter million people.


“And the Hewlett-Packard Company has 72,000 employees worldwide.


“The transistor, the integrated circuit, the microprocessor and a host of other advances in electronics technology have revolutionized the way the world works, plays, and communicates. Computers and computational devices have entered every aspect of modern life.


“And Dave and I are a bit older.”


Surmising that many people may be wondering what lies ahead, reflecting the uncertainty of the times, Hewlett says newspaper headlines can give the impression of  “a bubble bursting. Some companies are quitting the home computer business, and others are filing for bankruptcy. Some companies are reporting slower growth and disappointing earnings, and others are announcing staggering losses. And that sensitive barometer, the stock market, has reflected the uncertainty by a volatile treatment of electronic stock prices.”


Seeing that people are worried about competition from abroad, particularly from the Japanese, Hewlett says “I don’t think it would be amiss to say that perhaps, as we celebrate forty years together, we might be asking ourselves whether we can face the next decades with any kind of confidence. I think we can.”


In considering the future, Hewlett, reviews the past. He says the electronics industry has a “solid record of innovation, of making it easier, faster, and less costly to perform a task using electronics technology.”


He cites the electronic calculator as an example. He says that when they first introduced the HP-35 pocket calculator, they would have been pleased to sell ten thousand of them in the first year. Actually they sold over a hundred thousand that first year. “And within five years,” he says, “a product that had never been dreamed of before had completely supplanted one of the one of the basic tools of the engineer – the slide rule.


“Our industry’s history is filled with stories like this. It has been an ongoing process of using innovation to make our products more powerful, less costly, and easier to use. The result of our efforts has been tremendous growth and the movement of electronic technology into all areas of our lives – into our factories, our offices, our hospitals, our schools, and into many of the products we use in our homes.”


Hewlett feels the Japanese challenge is overrated. “They’re tough competitors, to be sure,” he says. “But we do drive the technology. Even where they have been successful, we were the initiators of the technology – VLSI, robotics, statistical quality control. They benefited from our oversight, not from any basic weakness on our part. The Japanese presence in our markets should be welcomed for forcing us to focus on creating real value, not speculative value. We are fully capable of matching their record for quality and I believe we are entering a new dawn of productive labor-management relations.”


He urges everyone to get “a firm grasp on our strengths. As a country, we’re financially strong. We understand marketing in a way few nations do. We are the world leaders in technology, and we can maintain that strong technical position if we keep our eyes on the ball.”


He lists some action items: “Use the R&D tax credits for increased investment in research. Let’s scrutinize our own research carefully and not let other nations benefit from our oversights. Let’s continue our support of collaborative research vehicles like Stanford’s Center for Integrated Systems. And let’s continue our support for engineering education and the maintenance of a strong basic research capability at our nation’s universities.”


Returning to the AEA, and the value the umbrella it has provided to all members, Hewlett says “Whether the subject is increased R&D tax credits or engineering education, the AEA has spoken out both effectively and in a timely manner. We have all benefited from its credibility and its hard efforts on our behalf. We’re not just celebrating forty years this evening. We’re celebrating forty years of solid accomplishment and the knowledge that the best years are yet to come.


“Thank you”


11/10/83, Memo from public relations person Katie Nutter, to Hewlett, transmitting a draft of this speech.