A Sterling Example of R&D Innovation
November 30, 2010
This month marks the 15th anniversary of our printed issue of The 3000 NewsWire -- we mailed copies of our November 2010 edition at the start of last week. Just as those copies (with print-first exclusives) landed in mailboxes around the world, I got a LinkedIn connection invite from Harry Sterling, the last general manager of the 3000 division to engineer a bigger market share for the server. When we first spoke with Sterling he ran the group's R&D, an aspect of today's HP that analysts and veterans believe needs a renaissance.
I caught up with Sterling to learn he's still pursuing and loving his new career after HP retirement in 1999: real estate, selling residential property in his adopted hometown of Palm Springs. After he retired, Sterling spent a year off in consulting and renovating a house in New Orleans, but reports he's now pursuing what he loves -- contact with people. The sales have been hard in the recent market, a feeling he probably remembers from selling the 3000 in the '90s.
I have always been interested in Real Estate so I decided to give it a try. My technical skills have given me an edge with web marketing. Most of my new clients come to me via my web sites. I got my license in December of 2002. It is a tough market now with lots of foreclosures and short pay sales. Hard work – harder than I thought it would be. But I do love it, especially sleeping in my own bed every night and meeting new people all the time.
I was surprised to see our very same November, 1995 issue included our first Q&A with Sterling, back when HP still had executives who could speak about the HP 3000 as something other than a dead product. With the HP campus where Sterling led a rejuvenation now sold to Apple, it seems worthwhile to study what a manager can pursue when customer delight is the goal. The interview with him revolves around Customer First and how it was practiced down to the lab level of the division, a group that once worked in a building HP owns no more.
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