In an industry that celebrates newcomers and disruptors, tech companies over a decade old take on the air of grizzled veterans. Still, some Silicon Valley companies manage to ride out the cycles. Hewlett Packard is famous for its longevity and its founding garage, where tourists can still drop by to visit the “birthplace of Silicon Valley.” Robert Burgelman, Philip Meza and former HP executive Webb McKinney outline HP’s rise and evolution over the decades.
HP got its start in the age of vacuum tubes and survived the age of the transistor, the age of integrated circuits and microprocessors, and on into today’s fast-changing tech world. “Very few tech companies are able to make a single fundamental transition in technology, and HP survived probably five, six, or seven of them. So, there’s something there that’s worth studying.”