* Posts by Joe Kuan

4 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Nov 2007

HP wants R&D to be serious business

Joe Kuan

HP R & D - Good, bad and the ugly

I have worked through a number of HP R&D teams and personally I think I have experienced through a spectrum of good, bad and the ugly.

[Good team] First, I worked for a very well structured & managed team ie very little meetings, simple & light documentation process, and very solid technically. I have learnt a lot of build, test, review process. Very professional and good team spirit. I am in debt to the expertise and knowledge that I have gained from the team and it has been very helpful for me to move on to another job.

[Bad team] Then, I moved on to another team on some crappy product called E3. Basically it's a joke, especially in management. Meeting almost everyday, like having a meeting for another meeting. I remember one of the meetings was for everyone to moan about the Java IDL kept crashing and lost their works. The meeting went on for 1.5 hours and at the end there was no solution or decision made.

[Ugly management crowns] We once got gathered for a meeting by a senior management crown for informing us some so called 'confidential information'. After the meeting, I found out the news was already on the web!! So I thought I am an HP employee and I am not even worth to outsiders.

Another time, the morale in the dept. was pretty low. So the management crowns decided to create a survey for each staff to find out why morale is low and how to improve it. They told us they will release the survey results and work on the morale. However, nothing has happened. I guessed the management team realised how awful the survey was and decided not to disclose it.

Obituary: HD DVD 2002-2008

Joe Kuan

Sony: "All your base belong to us"

I must say credit to Toshiba to admit the lost battle of HD DVD, fold the DVD format war and concentrate on something else. The company has certainly earned my respect.

I am not sure whether format war is as worthy to fight as decades ago.

How long would it take for Blue Ray to accelerate into consumer markets?

I would think if Sony really wants to eat the remaining HD-DVD market, may be they should offer a £50 tradeoff for Blue-ray player for all the owners having a HD-DVD player (Something like that).

US HD DVD player sales pass 750,000

Joe Kuan

Another point of view

I think people who bought PS3 roughly fall in few categories

1) Hard core gamers who value visual effects more than the price.

2) Hard core gamers who will own any game console

3) Gamers who can't get hold of Wii for coming Xmas

However, I certainly don't see non gamers or less serious gamers will buy a PS3 for the sake of blue-ray.

Personally, I think Sony placed a gamble when they released PS3 and they got it wrong and unfortunately, this one has a big price to pay.

1) Most of the gamers will buy PS3 because it is a successor of PS2 even though price mark is higher.

2) Based on 1), If we (Sony) bundle PS3 with Blue-ray, PS3 owners will be converted too.

Secondly, worst thing that happened to PS3, it is the introduction of the revolutionary Wii. It is cheaper and much more fun to play. The worst of the worst new is Wii outsold PS3 everywhere which casts a general perception to consumers (even the ones don't own a Wii).

1) You can have so much more fun with price of Wii. This de-values PS3 as a mark up price PS3 console even though it actually worths of what it got.

2) Parents are more encouraged to buy Wii than PS3 because they envisage family fun with their kids than imagining their kids locked in their rooms playing FPS games.

3) It has been outsold everywhere, it must be worth it.

4) People want to show off they got a Wii because it is hard to get.

If the above perceptions are in general consumers' mind, then it is pretty lethal to Sony. Remember the famous quote: "Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd".

There have been more negative feedbacks on PS3 than Wii. The only major disappointing news on Wii is the constant lack of supply which again turns to positive branding to Nintendo. Remember, Nintendo is ultra smart playing the supplier game - see the book "Co-opetition".

One of the side effect of negative feedbacks on PS3 is that consumers may have unconsciously cast negative perception on Blue-ray. Even though PS3 is nothing to do with Blue-ray technology because Sony forces PS3 with BD. Some consumers may surprisingly just systematically link PS3 = Blue ray. The crucial question is that how many of these thinkers in the market during the HD vs BD war.

1) Perception is reality

2) Selective perception (see Edward de Bono)

These consumers may not necessary have logical thoughts and 'We', the consumers, always think our decision is right. Not many companies can climb to the prestigious wall, like Apple, who can mentor consumers mind wanted to be the 'Apple crowd'.

Again another illogical assumption on why consumers may choose HD than BD, wherever you buy a LCD television, you always see the 'HD-Ready' logo but you don't see the 'Blue-Ray Ready'. If you always see 'HD' occurs a lot more time in your surroundings like adverts, magazine, etc, you start to favour HD.

I admit a lot of these analysis are 'jump to the conclusion' but it happens everyday and a lot.

As in personal choice, I bought a HD-DVD player recently mainly because of price and I know that one day I may get a PS3 if the price becomes reasonable in my view. By then, I'll have the best of both and I don't really need to give a monkey who wins.

Joe Kuan

Sony old style

I think whatever the outcome is Blue-Ray will still be major stream in Japan, not sure about worldwide.

Time will tell whether this has the fate as their Mini-Disc and UMD technologies.