Thursday, May 31, 2007

Coining the term "LaserJet"

Today's the day (May 31st) that a large wave of HP (NYSE HPQ) veterans will put in their last day with the company. An optional early retirement program takes effect, and to my many former co-workers who are taking this big step, congratulations and good luck. And don't hesitate to get in touch, please!

One of those veterans leaving the company, as reported in the HP release "HP Appoints Michael Hoffmann to Lead Supplies Business", is recent supplies boss Pradeep Jotwani. A 25-year veteran of the company, both inside and outside the printing business, Pradeep was a young channel manager when an internal call came out to actually "name" the new printer product being fast-tracked to the nascent PC Sales Channel. While most company veterans favored tradition and wanted the new product to carry the "catchy" moniker "2686A" (as a proud descendent of the room-sized, $100 thousand dollar "2680" laser printer), some thought now was the time for HP to "get" marketing and do something truly catchy. And the (fairly reliable) legend has it that the most popular idea was Pradeep's -- the made-up "LaserJet", which was linked to HP's recent "ThinkJet" product ("thermal ink jet"), and was unpopular with some of the techies because there was no literal "jet" involved in the new laser printer, unlike with TIJ. As they say, the rest is history!

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