To hear the wags at Business Week tell it, someone stole Steve Jobs’ Mojo and while no one was looking, it showed up on HP CEO Mark Hurd’s desk.
I, for one, think not. The problem here isn’t what you think it is based on an attention-getting headline.
After all, the problems shown to us so clearly by a national rag and a journalist temp with an agenda may often differ from our own analysis.
So it is with the BusinessWeek headline which screams, “Apple vs. HP: Who’s Got The Mojo Now?”
Excuse me? What did I miss? I apologize. I went down the block to get a hot dog for lunch. I wasn’t gone 30-minutes and I came back to a different world.
In this new world, Apple’s Steve Jobs’ (and, by implication, Apple Computer) has lost his Mojo, and HP CEO Mark Hurd found it.
What the frack? When did this happen? Why wasn’t I notified?
Wait a minute. I heard this same story last week on CNBC’s Closing Bell, except it was Dell that lost the Mojo and HP that found it.
Way to go Peter Burrows of Business Week. Having other organizations do the research for your commentary saves time, right?
Ahh, the twists and turns of so-called fair and balanced tech journalism, circa 2006.
The BusinessWeek sub-headline mourns Apple’s loss and HP’s gains with, “The iPod maker seems to be streaming misfortune these days, while the business of tech’s “Boy Scouts” could hardly be better.”
It’s the war of The Boy Scout vs. The Boy Wonder. The Mojo Crown world title is at stake.
Burrows gives kudos to Apple where it’s due. For five years Apple could do no wrong; everything was smarter and cooler than anyone else.
Look at the past Mojo champion’s list: high flying stock, record revenue and profits, iPod is king of the hill, successful switch to Intel chips, growing development community, TV commercials that work.
If that isn’t proof positive of a Mojo champion, I don’t know what is. And apparently I don’t know what is because BusinessWeek’s Burrows just crowned HP’s top Boy Scout as the new Boy Wonder.
Why? Well, forget about the fact that Apple and HP don’t really compete head to head anywhere except mid-range PCs. Talk about a diversified product line.
Forget about the fact that Apple is still running at a record pace and shipping everything they can as fast as they can.
The Mojo crown is being moved because Apple has taken a few black eyes during their fistcuffs with, well, whatever. Seriously. That’s what it looks like to seasoned journalists who love creating tit-for-tat headlines.
Apple has stock options problems. HP doesn’t (forget the fact that HP stock’s been worthless for years, so there was no incentive to backdate).
Apple’s iPod manufacturers use Asian sweatshops. HP, uh, well, um, doesn’t compete in that market.
Apple had to fork over $100-million to Creative to settle a bucket of patent lawsuits. Oh, that never happens to HP, right?
Apple had to recall nearly 2-million laptop batteries made by Sony. HP says those batteries were not “good enough” for their products. They say that now, of course.
Apple opposed a government sponsored e-waste policy. HP embraced the policy and will foot the bill to fill the landfills with old HP products. And there are lots and lots of old HP products.
You see how all that stacks up? No wonder the wags of BizWeek are wagging their tails and their tales.
Apple was the darling for five years and the Mojo was working overtime. In just a few months, the Boy Scout heading HP these days is crowned the new Mojo champ.
What of Dell, an actual competitor of HP? Well, they’ve got their problems, sure. Flat lined stock. Shrinking margins. Dell Makes Dull™ products.
What of market share? Has HP made inroads to Dell’s leading position?
Uh, no. Not really. How about Apple? Well, whose tail is wagging the dog these days? Apple market share is up. HP is, uh, well, not.
How about stock price? Stocks go up, stocks go down, but had you put money on HPQ and AAPL one year ago, your AAPL would be better off.
The BusinessWeek article makes for interesting, if not stimulating, reading. But the impression created is wrong. Says who? Even writer Peter Burrows says so.
“HP will never have the sheer panache or intense loyalty that Apple has. Try as it might, HP’s products come nowhere close to Apple’s in terms of style, elegance, or newsworthiness.”
Oh, I see. So, we’re comparing Apple’s to HPs, Boy Wonder to Boy Scout, HP’s squeaky clean vs. Apple’s Trouble Bag, but in the end, what have we got?
“As for the respective CEOs, Hurd will never match Jobs in terms of his ability to build companies, up-end industries, set technology trends, or affect our digital culture.”
Isn’t that a little like me saying, “My cat ate the mouse”? So, I shot the cat to check on the mouse and it wasn’t really in there after all. Oh, well. Nevermind.
In a real-world, final analysis, HP’s stock is doing well. New CEO Mark Hurd is getting due kudos for helping a stodgy company look, well, less stodgy.
Hurd and the Boy Scouts of HP are not even in the running for Mojo.