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August 8, 2007

HP: How to Destroy Your Image at SIGGRAPH

Filed under SIGGRAPH, WTF

First, some background.

I walked past the PDI/Dreamworks SIGGRAPH party at 9pm and there was a line two blocks long to get in. The party was at Stingaree in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. I was meeting up with some friends for dinner and then we were going to drop by the PDI/Dreamworks party.

We arrived at Stingaree around 10pm. There was no line, but they were at capacity. The party was on the roof and they were not letting anybody in until people left the party. Surprisingly, not very many people were leaving (go figure, free booze and sushi).

So myself and several co-workers were the first in line to get let in once other people left the party.

As the line formed behind us, it was fun watching people walk up to the bouncer and say the equivalent of "I'm with the DJ," only to be shot down and sent back to the line.

Then a blond girl from HP showed up.

The HP girl spoke with the Dreamworks recruiting manger about getting into the party without waiting in line. She said HP is a partner of Dreamworks and that means she should not have to wait in line.

I listened as the recruiting manager explained that nobody is more important than anyone else and that the reason for this party is to get potential candidates inside. Without the candidates, there is no party.

The HP girl refused to accept this...she was from HP and she should be let in NOW!

She was denied and sent back in line.

The recruiting manager apologized to us all about the wait and said she really wanted us all inside.

Then a second blond girl from HP arrived. She looked like an older woman that was trying to relive her glorious clubbing days. She had the same "we don't wait in lines"-attitude about her, except she was more hard-core about it. I'll call her PHP (Past Her Prime).

The first blond explained why they were waiting in line to PHP. PHP was outraged and brought the first blond with her to demand they be let in NOW!

The bouncer explained the situation again, but PHP wanted to talk to a manager. A rep from Dreamworks began to talk the blond girls.

Now mind you, all this is happening outside with a line of potential Dreamworks candidates listening to every word.

Then I heard the magically line that made me start recording...

"If Dreamworks values its relationship with HP..."

Oh no you didn't! You did not just claim that the corporate relationship between Dreamworks and Hewlett-Packard is contingent on you getting into this party without waiting in line!

The conversation went on for about 10 minutes before she was finally let in. It really didn't matter...enough people had left that they began letting us in anyway.

I don't know who this girl is...but in my experience, people that claim they are really important...aren't.

So the net result: There is a line of industry people that got to watch HP tarnish its image. Well done!

The video doesn't capture the best parts of the conversation, but it does give you a feel for what happened. You can see the two blond girls talking to a Dreamworks representative.

Comments (4)

Of course, HP gets far more from the relationship than Dreamworks does. HP provides no unique technologies to DW-- they can get the hardware from anywhere. On the other hand, there are only so many companies with the DW cachet to go around and if you lose one, its a long wait till the next bus comes along.

I was at Compaq when the notion of selling to an animation studio would get you exiled in the blink of an eye (yes, that would be personal experience talking). Let's hope their new masters haven't picked up some other nasty habits.

Video uploaded!!! Thank you SIGGRAPH Guerrilla Studio and your fast internet connection!!!

I'm glad it wasn't Dell!

I wonder how The Internets would try to get in?


I thought of this story as I was uploading all my SIGGRAPH pictures from my HP camera to my HP laptop. If HP values my loyalty to the company...haha

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 8, 2007 2:21 PM.

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