"At the risk of sounding like someone who remembers only the bright spots of a golden age, I think it's worth exploring some of the values of the leaders who first shaped Silicon Valley, because they provide a sharp contrast to those of recent Internet entrepreneurs. The values of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Larry Page of Google, and Mark Pincus of Zynga are currently influencing not only the business decisions their companies make but also the values of many other new Internet businesses.
When I arrived at Hewlett-Packard in 1965, the company was already a $300 million giant. Bill Hewlett's and Dave Packard's ideas and principles were in evidence everywhere.
I learned a great deal listening to them in meetings and watching them manage. Dave's memorable quote, "More companies die of indigestion than starvation" -- roughly translated, "Focus, stupid" -- became one of my own guiding principles.
I learned that sharp focus ensured great execution and created loyal customers.
Dave's values became the company's values and the employees' values.
His concern for the customer became the company's concern.
The company was focused on delivering advanced technology of great value, then servicing and supporting the customer to make sure he derived value from what he bought. Customers trusted Hewlett-Packard.
I remember one customer who so trusted the salesman who took care of his account that he let the sales rep purchase what he needed.
That period of trust went on for a long time. The salesman told me his secret: He never bought anything for the customer that the customer did not really need."