Eric Savitz has a great blog post on HP Labs new focus. According to a release the company is issuing today, HP Labs will zero in on 20-30 large research projects, rather than the 150 or smaller projects which marked the company’s approach previously.
This interests me because way back in the day when I spent 9 years at HP I interviewed for a job to commercialize new technology out of the labs. My supporter was Dwayne Zitner who ran the server group at the time, but corporate development poo pooed it. At that time HP Labs was out of touch with how innovation got done. Now it looks like HP has a great vision.
This announcment makes me think that HP could implement an ‘Amazon’ model of leveraging their core assets in IP and open it up. Key to success is how they work with entrepreneurs like me. If they can help me I’m interested in embedding their technologies in my ventures.
Here is what I think are important points made today:
- They have a plan to sharpen the focus on 20-30 big bets, away from the smaller projects they used to work on. Place entire resources of HP Labs on these big bets. Target is solving most pressing problems facing customers in the next decade.
- Dynamic cloud service: based on location, preferences, calendar and communities. One approach: Cloud Print: store documents in the cloud and then retrieve and print on any printer in the world. Also Cloud View, which allows you view stock quotes, weather, sports scores without a browser on a mobile phone.
- Content transformation: transforming analog to digital, from device to device, from digital to physical. Researchers working on technology to seamlessly transfer information from device to device. Also digital content to physical products.
- Intelligent infrastructure: designing smarter, more secure devices, networks and architectures, that connect to rich content and services.
- HP Labs is committed to “open innovation,” to work with VCs, startups, partner companies, etc. “We realize that not all the smart people work for HP Labs,”
- Another: an entrepreneur-in-residence program. VCs in touch with the marketplace. Form partnerships with VCs. Know what the business trends and market development opportunities are.
- “Everything as a Service.”
- Merger between business intelligence and the Web. BI not just for top executive anymore. Prediction systems will be common places. Challenge is getting right information into the right hands. Business will use a radically different approach to reach business decisions. They have an approach they call BRAIN to make business predictions.
- Speed is everything.
Kudos to HP for this approach. Like Eric Savitz says “speed is everything”. Lets see if HP can walk the talk.