February 8, 2012
1. Background: The Kittyhawk Project.
Hewlett Packard (HP) decided to produce 1.3-inch disk drives to become the market leader in a new market and increase HP’s revenue. Although the market for 1.3-inch disk drives was still unclear and still developing, HP decided to organize a special team to develop this new product. This group was multi-talented, with the best engineers from every department in the company. The group also had many priorities for the company. However, things didn’t develop as the Kittyhawk team expected. They failed to sell the new product to the customer they planned. Even though some new customers were interested in this advanced technology, the price of 1.3-inch disk drive was considered to be too high and sales were very low. In the end, HP decided to shut down the Kittyhawk group. 2. The Kittyhawk Project Failed Due To An Uncertain Market.
Many roadblocks to a successful Kittyhawk project stemmed from one main shortcoming: not knowing where the potential market was, and how to provide value for that market. An Uncertain Future Market
The most influential problems start early on. A critical mistake Spenner made was to “attack a new hill” without ascertaining its value. Spenner saw a promising but vague market for new “mobile devices” such as laptops, gaming devices and other new products. These upcoming devices promised an undiscovered market for a portable yet rugged hard drive. Spenner’s predictions were too optimistic, the mobile devices market failed to take off, and the Kittyhawk product line was cancelled due to low sales. However, Spenner, a veteran and experienced project leader, did not blindly charge up the mobile hard drive hill without doing market research. This leads to the next of a series of mistakes that doomed the Kittyhawk.
Flawed Market Research
The marketing research firm hired to assess the...