Come home, Bill and Dave

-October 25, 2013

In 1999 the management and stockholders of Hewlett-Packard Co. decided that HP should go on as a computer company, spinning off its test and measurement, life sciences, and other businesses into Agilent Technologies. Over the last 14 years, Agilent sold off various businesses, but held on to its core test-and-measurement business–until recently, that is. The Agilent management and stockholders have recently decided that Agilent is a life sciences company and is to spin off the test-and-measurement business into a new company to be named sometime in 2014.

Several people commented that the new electronics-measurement company be named Hewlett-Packard. After all, that's how Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started the company in 1939, by designing and building test equipment. The Hewlett-Packard Development Company should relinquish the HP name that rightfully belongs to the test-and-measurement business.

When Agilent split from HP, the company history–starting with Bill and Dave–went to Agilent, not HP. When Agilent splits off the new company, that history should once again go to the test-and-measurement company. Agilent has no more rightful claim to that history than does HP.

Will HP relinquish its name to the new company? Of course not, since it has too much recognition in the consumer market. In lieu of that, the new company should honor its roots with a name that reminds us of Bill and Dave. Unfortunately, names such as BD Technologies and BD Engineering are already taken. Perhaps the new company could be named BD Measurements, B&D Measurements, or something like that.

Making a logo for the BD Measurements company is easy. Start with the hp logo. Connect the bottom of the h and you get a b (you might have to round off the corners). Next, flip the p 180° on its horizontal axis and you get a d. That's it, new logo. What color would you use? What would you name the new company?

Also see
Test equipment, two steps removed
Test and measurement giants
Tell your Bill and Dave stories

Martin Rowe, Senior Technical Editor Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn page

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