Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company

Front Cover
Penguin, 2007 - 438 pages
The definitive history of Hewlett-Packard and its legendary founders, based on unprecedented access to private archivesThis is the most authoritative version ever of the most famous start-up story in business history. In 1938, working out of a small garage in Palo Alto, California, two young Stanford graduates named Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard built their first product, an audio oscillator. It was the start not only of a legendary company but of an entire way of life in Silicon Valley'and, ultimately, our modern digital age. Others have written about the rise of Hewlett-Packard, including Packard himself in a bestselling memoir. But acclaimed journalist Michael S. Malone is the first to get the full story, based on unlimited and exclusive access to corporate and private archives, along with hundreds of employee interviews. Malone draws on his new material to show how some of the most influential products of our time were invented, and how a culture of innovation led HP to unparalleled success for decades. He also shows what was really behind the groundbreaking management philosophy'the HP Way'that put people ahead of products or profits. There have been attempts in recent years to discredit the HP Way as soft and outdated. But Malone argues that the HP Way was a hard-nosed business philosophy that combined simple objectives, trust in employees to make the right choices, and ruthless self-appraisal. It created an innovative and ferociously competitive company'arguably the world's greatest company. This business adventure story will be perfect for entrepreneurs, young managers, and students, not to mention the tens of thousands of current and former HP employees.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

Interesting business biography. Hewlett & Packard were fundamentally decent guys and managed to hold on to that decency while creating a behemoth of a company. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcopenha - LibraryThing

Having only known HP from the 90s on, and largely from a consumer perspective, I thought the early days of HP described in this book were very interesting. I had no idea that HP had such an impact on ... Read full review


A selection of photographs follows p 214
AppendixLesson Guide

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Michael S. Malone, a Silicon Valley native, is one of AmericaÂ's most distinguished technology journalists. The former editor of Forbes ASAP and currently a popular Web columnist for ABC, he has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired, and Fast Company magazines. Among his books are The Big Score, The Virtual Corporation, Infinite Loop, and Intellectual Capital.

Bibliographic information