For PC makers it is particularly important these days to have a broad lineup of products. The best PC and software companies attempt to innovate not only in terms of performance, but in terms of form-factor, services and so on. PC company named Apple managed to launch media tablets into masses with the iPad, but other innovations of the recent years came from companies like Facebook, Skype and so on. It looks like that for innovations size does not matter.
X-bit labs: Do you think that in order to be a successful PC maker these days a company needs to provide a product range that spans from tablets (maybe even smartphones) to workstations?
Rahul Sood: Some look at success in terms of market share. Others look at success in terms of profit margin. To answer your question, I believe PC makers need to think beyond the devices they sell in order to be immensely successful. Sure they can sell devices all day long, but everyone is doing that - why not go back to the basics of building a soulful business?
X-bit labs: Maybe that is what they are doing with their $40 billion startup "plan"?
Rahul Sood: I don’t know what they’re doing; although I wish them well. HP’s success has a measurable impact on global technology. One thing’s certain, I’ve never heard of a 40 billion dollar “start-up”. Have you?
X-bit labs: You came from a boutique PC maker to one of the largest companies in the world. Do you think that the "limits" of innovation that it is possible to reach being a small company have been reached?
Rahul Sood: No, there are no limits to innovation for small companies. Look at Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, Twitter, Foursquare, and all the other startups that come out of nowhere and accelerate to become giants in very little time. There are plenty of ways to innovate, as long as you have a strategy that makes sense you can always partner with a large company to get access to technology. I also believe there is no such thing as “windows of opportunity” in technology. Anytime someone tells me the window is closing I have an argument to the contrary.
X-bit labs: Thanks a lot for thoughtful answers, Rahul.
Rahul Sood: Anytime, I appreciate the chance to fill in some of the gaps with Voodoo. I'm really glad that some of our work is finding life in other forms.
I also want to take this opportunity to wish my friends at HP nothing but the best in the future. My phone was ringing off the hook after the announcement, and I feel bad that everyone was caught off guard... but remember, don't give up the fight - you are still the biggest PC company on earth and change is almost always a good thing. We all want to see you come out stronger.