Buy Business Integrative Strategic Assignment

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Professor Clayton M. Christensen and Research Associate Gregory C. Rogers prepared the original version of this case, “Hewlett-Packard: The Flight of the Kittyhawk,” HBS No. 697-060. This version was prepared by Professor Clayton M. Christensen. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. Copyright © 2006 President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-545-7685, write Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163, or go to http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the permission of Harvard Business School.
C L A Y T O N M . C H R I S T E N S E N
Hewlett-Packard: The Flight of the Kittyhawk (A)
In 1903, on a windy beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright demonstrated that sustained flight was possible. Though their plane only flew 120 feet on the first attempt, they flew farther and higher on each successive trial. The two brothers stood at the threshold of a new era in transportation.
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In June of 1992, Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduced the smallest hard disk drive in the world, named the Kittyhawk. The drive’s disks were 1.3 inches in diameter; the unit was not much larger than two postage stamps (see Exhibit 1 for a picture of the Kittyhawk). The first version of the Kittyhawk supplied 20 megabytes of storage and had unique componentry enabling the drive to withstand a three-foot drop without any data loss. The possible applications of the drive in the mobile computing market seemed endless, and the team at HP responsible for launching the Kittyhawk eagerly anticipated the takeoff of their newest innovation. However, now, in June 1994, after two years of effort, Kittyhawk sales had failed to meet the team’s targets, and Rick Seymour, the Kittyhawk project leader, was struggling with whether to refocus the team’s effort along one of three possible paths his staff had developed or to recommend to his superiors that the project be abandoned and the team disbanded.
Rigid Disk Drives
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Rigid disk drives (commonly called “hard drives”) were magnetic information storage and retrieval devices used with computers. The first rigid disk drive, invented in 1956 by engineers in IBM’s San Jose, California laboratories, was the size of two large refrigerators placed side by side. It could store five megabytes (MB) of information. The technological progress since that time was remarkable. Drives wrote and read information in the same sort of binary code that computers used. Most disk drives comprised a read-write head mounted at the end of an arm that swung over the surface of a rotating disk in much the same way that a phonograph needle and arm reached over a record; disks, which were aluminum or glass platters coated with magnetic material; at least two electrical motors—a spin motor that drove the rotation of the disks and an actuator motor that moved the head to the desired position over the disk; and a variety of electronic circuits that controlled the drive’s operation and its interface with the computer.
For the exclusive use of X. Gao, 2019.
This document is authorized for use only by Xingning Gao in Strategy 2019 Spring taught by JEFFREY BARDEN, Oregon State University from Mar 2019 to Sep 2019.
606-088 Hewlett-Packard: The Flight of the Kittyhawk (A)
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