This is the garage where David Packard and William Hewlett started their new company in 1938 as fresh Stanford University engineering graduates. This is probably one of the key places in California that can be called the birthplace of Silicon Valley. If you visit this tiny garage, you will find In front of the house a plaque officially declaring the location the "birthplace of Silicon Valley” some 70 years ago. The Valley not only transform businesses, it also transform societies and politics.
This once tiny garage workshop was once rented by William Hewlett and David Packard, Stanford engineering grads after stints at MIT and GE came back to Palo Alto to start a HP. This company transformed many of the modern corporations. I am sure in 40 years my grandchildren will be visiting Steve Jobs’ garage with a plaque declaring “birthplace of Apple computers”.
The modern corporation has experienced (survived and prospered) several transformations. Sometime between 1690 and 1790, political innovations triggered the financial innovations that gave birth to modern-day capitalism. Then, democratic governments gave birth to the modern-day financial markets that continue to transform organizations and allow different forms of capital structures. This was Wave One.
Information technology has been transforming organizations from the early days of the mainframe to the BlackBerry of today. Most of the benefits were realized through employee productivity gains from increased access to information about customers, inventory, logistics, finance etc. Consider this Wave Two.
What about Wave Three? It's happening. The new wealth will not come from innovations that hope to perfect the old world. The old world is so broken after all. Rather, new wealth will be derived from innovations will that create new worlds - connecting different worlds. This has been the constant theme of progress, and there is no reason to believe otherwise. The next wave of transformation will be powered by the new, namely social technologies. This change will impact the shapes and forms of today’s organizations, and will widen the gap between the leaders and the laggards of tomorrow’s organizations
Social Technologies is not just about software – it is the new business logic. Enterprise software vendors will be quick to jump into this space and declare they have the solutions. But how can they have a solution when we have yet to fully understand the problems and the opportunities? ERP systems will likely be first to offer social modules (if they know what it means), and CRM companies will want to create plug-ins into social networks and integrate this data into their dashboards. There are already tens of dozens of social intelligence companies out there with solutions, but this is not the right starting point.
This unprecedented degree of collaboration among employees, customers and partners around the world is now possible, and increased interaction will bring unprecedented opportunity and a tool to “level the playing field” globally, with significant ramifications for business model innovation and organizational design. Who will become the HP equivalent in the next wave?