Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Creativity and disruptiveness in a borg company

This snippet from a book quoted in an article in the context of the reorganization we are undergoing in HP Labs really hits home:
In their last chapter, the authors concluded: 'Breakthroughs have come from creative teams that were ignored by their organizations, supported only belatedly by their organizations, misunderstood by their organizations, even assaulted by their organizations. Breakthroughs can emerge just as readily from no organization at all.'
I think *every* project I've worked on in HP and HP Labs since 1996 is summed up by that statement :-). It took me a while to come to terms with this, but now it actually energizes me to have a project in that position. If I'm not ignored, supported only belatedly, and not assaulted by my organization, I take it as a sign that I'm not being creative enough. Ironically the article's author, and I take it some in management, think this is a bug and not a feature. It's not for everyone, but it's how I've evolved to exist in a mega-corporation amidst its unrelenting homogenizing forces.

FYI, for more on the HP Labs reorg, read the whole article at: EETimes.com - Commentary: Will eHarmony work for R&D match-making?

Monday, March 10, 2008

HP's new inkjet web press

I must begin by reminding the reader that "web" in this context refers to a roll-fed printing press, not our dear WWW of cyberspace fame :-).

HP Targets Multi-billion Dollar Graphics Arts Market with New Digital Printing Technologies: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance:
New products and technologies are being previewed this week at a Tel Aviv event for customers, partners, press and analysts. Highlights include:

* A high-speed 30-inch (762-mm) inkjet platform for high-volume production of books, transactional/transpromotional mail, direct marketing materials and newspapers.
If it works, this is a real game-changer in commercial printing. More info on the press:

Leveraging its $1.4 billion investment in Scalable Printing Technology, HP introduced the HP Inkjet Web Press (http://www.hp.com/go/inkjetwebpress), a high-speed color digital printing platform that increases productivity and lowers the cost of printing for the high-volume commercial market.


Capable of printing in full color on rolls up to 30 inches wide at 400 feet per minute (122 m/min.), the HP Inkjet Web Press is compatible with a wide range of uncoated media to enable efficient printing of book signatures, full broadsheet newspapers and other documents.
400ft/min @ 30" wide -- I want to see the ink delivery system on this puppy! Driving ink at that rate through ridiculously small nozzles, reliably and durably, takes some serious rocket science.