There is a reason everyone who creates their own startup company knows the story of Hewlett-Packard. It is the business model equivalent of winning the lottery. More importantly, it illustrates why today, almost 80 years after they first went into business, William and David still have a lot to teach innovators and inventors.
The first lesson is the importance of striking out on your own. Today, the thought of setting up a business in the garage or an unused bedroom is commonplace. There are thousands of home based businesses that, in many cases, require little more than the extra room. In many cases, however, these jobs are no more than glorified working from home arrangements many people already enjoy. To create a startup company of one's own is not that much more difficult. For a nominal investment, it is easy to get the computing power and hardware necessary to get your business going. William and David started with just over five hundred dollars and a used drill press. The importance of being your own business is that it allows your company to maintain control. They each could have had stellar careers working inside some larger corporation, and in the end, their names would have been lost to history. Even with their own business, they still could have been if they did not follow the second important lesson about creating your own startup company: make sure your product fills - or better yet, creates - a need.
The first project they worked on was designed to test audio equipment. Movies with sound were still in their infancy and something was needed to make sure negative feedback was eliminated, thereby improving the quality of the recording. Was this the first product they wanted to make? Maybe not. They might have had visions of some dynamic new device that nobody had ever heard of, but if nobody knew about it, nobody would buy it, and that makes for a poor business model. Instead, they went ahead with what they called the HP Model 200A, and it turns out somebody did need it. A guy named Walt Disney.
Needless to say, it has been a pretty successful run ever since. Just like any other business, they have had their share of bumps in the road, but today they are still held out as an example of what a startup company is capable of doing and becoming. Today, technology changes and growth are powered by hundreds of small companies just like they were, beginning in garages and dorm rooms. Most of the most successful internet businesses today started just a few years ago as an idea between friends. And when it comes to naming your company, follow lesson three: flip a coin. If it had landed the other way, we would all be talking about the Packard-Hewlett Corporation.
http://www.thejumpstarters.com Jack Terry is a freelance writer who specializes in business trends for the 21st century and their relevance in history.