Case Write-ups—Hewlett-Packard: The Flight of the KittyHawk(A) Two years after launching the Kittyhawk in mid-1992, Rick Seymour, the Kittyhawk project leader, was facing a dilemma to continue the project with the three possible options or to recommend to abandon this project.
Due to the comparatively small market share in disk-drive market, Bruce Spenner, the general manager of the Disk Memory Division, decided to enlarge Hewlett-Packard’s market share by launch an innovational product – Kittyhawk. However, plans can never keep pace with changes. Kittyhawk didn’t acquire the expected customer segments, which caused the dilemma.
From the external and internal analysis, it showed that Hewlett-Packard’s Kittyhawk project had a great chance to succeed in the market, especially with plenty of strength. In fact, in terms of an innovation, Kittyhawk was very successful.
The design won several prestigious technology and new-product awards for 1992, which got much attention from the market. But to drive growth, innovation also needs to be useful and successfully implemented. So, did Kittyhawk achieve that? That’s the key to success.
... the key strengths and weakness of the way Hewlett-Packard structure and supported the Kittyhawk development team? Why do you think that HP ... was setting goals in a project charter for a disruptive technology. Without assessment of the potential market or understanding their customers, the ...
Good Strategic Decisions Differentiation Strategy Bruce Spenner made a wise decision to attack an entirely new market. If Hewlett-Packard choose to go for the traditional DMD market, the market share would probably remain the same.
Hewlett-Packard’s disc-drive sales in 1992 was only 13% of IBM’s sales. Hewlett-Packard must be aggressive to be the market leader. Historically, 1.8-inch disk drive would be the most predictable next step for most companies. However, Kittyhawk is the first 1.3-inch drive, which is two steps ahead of the whole DMD market. Kittyhawk can differentiated itself from other major players. Efficient Project Implementation
Rick Seymour choose his teammates he believed can serve the project best. He looked for risk taker and people who were quick thinking and action. In addition, Spenner laid emphasis on the project parameters a lot, especially in time and financial goals.
They did everything they can to ensure that the team functioned well. Quite sensibly, Kittyhawk team finished Kittyhawk right on schedule with 12 months, which usually took 18 months.
Issues Lack of Research and Development At the beginning of Kittyhawk, David Woito, the project’s R&D manager, required all engineers to sign a creed before joining the team.: “I am going to build a small, dumb, cheap disk drive!” With the limited time, the engineers was able to make a decent 1.3-inch drive, which is small enough.
Besides, with high-volume OEM, Kittyhawk priced at around $250. Although it was said that $130 seems to be the cost floor of any fully featured disk drive, the price of Kittyhawk was still in high-end product segment. The R&D department should put more effort on how to reduce the cost in order to make Kittyhawk more competitive in the market. Insufficient Market Forecast
As an information technology corporation, Hewlett-Packard should be more sensitive and prudent to the newly emerged market. According to their forecast, Kittyhawk’s biggest customers could be PDA. But in reality, the PDA market never emerged as expected.
Although several unexpected customers showed up, the actual production level was never as good as the original plan, showed in Exhibit 7. Kittyhawk team should do more market research on the materialization of PDA market and what the future of PDA market is. Also, it was risky to only focus on one potential market. It is important to decentralize risk by identifying more than potential customer segment.
1.Introduction This document is a commentary that critically examines the research proposal for investigating the impact of marketing activity in the recruitment of students from the Republic of Ireland to the University of . This commentary looks at the rationale for carrying out the research and how the research methodology was derived. Before embarking on any research project Zikmund (2000) ...
Future of Kittyhawk There were three options ahead of Hewlett-Packard management. Otherwise, Kittyhawk project should be closed. I firmly recommend Hewlett-Packard to abandon this project. First, Hewlett-Packard was never a strong player in disk-drive industry.
It was unwise to continue the project after two major failure, especially when the team was losing confidence. Second, technology is changing rapidly. If Hewlett-Packard could not get the picture of disc-drive market clearly, any further options was going to be the next failure.
Third, even with the most enthusiastic option – a $50 drive, it required Kittyhawk team to have a significant design breakthrough to pull the cost down. Nevertheless, it could be achieved or not. A $50 drive just met the current needs of certain customers, instead of the future demand. Therefore, Hewlett-Packard should disband the team and put the resource into their strong products before it was too late.