HTC boss Peter Chou orders his staff to 'kill bureaucracy'

HTC boss Peter Chou orders his staff to 'kill bureaucracy'HTC isn't doing too well right now, having seen a frontrunning spot on the Android gravy train turn into a slippery slope down towards the mobile doldroms in barely two years.

And boss Peter Chou believes he knows where the problem lies – bureaucracy.

In a rally-the-troops internal email sent earlier this week – which (naturally) leaked nearly straight away – Chou has told employees to spend less time in meetings, and more time actually getting some work done.

“We have people in meeting and talking all the time but without decision, strategic direction or sense of urgency,” Chou's company-wide missive read.

“Don’t let the processes, rules and norms to impact our important goals,” he wrote. “Of course we have to follow certain rules and criteria but don’t let small things kill the major goals.”

The email, entitled “we are coming back”, has emerged against a backdrop of poor performance that has seen HTC slip to now rank as only the eighth biggest global mobile phone maker – a long way down on the halcyon days of the likes of the HTC Hero, HTC Magic and even more recent devices such as the HTC Desire.

“We are disappointed that our sales are down while smartphone market share is growing,” Chou added. “Our competitors can leverage their scale, brand awareness and big marketing budget to do things which HTC could not do.

“The fast growth from the last two years has slowed us down.”

And in truth the company's handsets individually remain strong, suggesting that the Taiwanese firm's problem is indeed one of strategy and direction.

After a scatter-gun approach last year of flooding the market with a wide range of overlapping products (a strategy which clearly failed), HTC's plan for 2012 – to scale back to a much smaller portfolio of more distinct handsets – doesn't seem to be faring any better.

The bad news now, of course, is that even if HTC does now hit upon the right strategy, it'll be hard to avoid people thinking it's just another change of focus for a company that clearly seems to have lost all sense of direction.

Via Bloomberg

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10 comments

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 17, 2012 at 19:44

And in truth the company's handsets individually remain strong
Not really, in the mid-range and low-end markets their devices are too expensive and overshadowed by either cheaper or better specced phones from companies such as ZTE and Huawei. In the high-end market HTC devices are walked all over by Samsung, on the Android front, and Apple with the iPhone.

For example, The One X is a good phone, but the iPhone 4S (and 5, presumably) and SGS3 are better. Why would anyone pay only a couple of pounds per month less for a considerably less impressive device?

blizzard7  Aug. 17, 2012 at 21:04

The One X is better than the iPhone 4S even with my Android-tinted spectacles off.

It's a good call from Chou, I definitely agree with the path he's taking, but they were saying this sort of thing before the One series launched so they really need to execute well next spring.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 17, 2012 at 21:15

The One X is better than the iPhone 4S even with my Android-tinted spectacles off.

It's a good call from Chou, I definitely agree with the path he's taking, but they were saying this sort of thing before the One series launched so they really need to execute well next spring.

Really? A badly built, fast depreciating, comparatively laggy phone with even less memory options than an iPhone (at least the iPhone comes in 3 capacities) is better than the 4S?

The only logical choices for a high-end phone now (well, after waiting for the iPhone 5 and Note 2), are the S3, iP5 or N2.

Why buy a One X over any of the others? The extra money you spend on one of the others, which isn't a lot anyway, will be recouped when you sell it on (or made back in a more functional, more enjoyable time spent with the device).

blizzard7  Aug. 17, 2012 at 22:08

The One X is better than the iPhone 4S even with my Android-tinted spectacles off.

It's a good call from Chou, I definitely agree with the path he's taking, but they were saying this sort of thing before the One series launched so they really need to execute well next spring.

Really? A badly built, fast depreciating, comparatively laggy phone with even less memory options than an iPhone (at least the iPhone comes in 3 capacities) is better than the 4S?


Lol.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 18, 2012 at 10:01

The One X is better than the iPhone 4S even with my Android-tinted spectacles off.

It's a good call from Chou, I definitely agree with the path he's taking, but they were saying this sort of thing before the One series launched so they really need to execute well next spring.

Really? A badly built, fast depreciating, comparatively laggy phone with even less memory options than an iPhone (at least the iPhone comes in 3 capacities) is better than the 4S?

The only logical choices for a high-end phone now (well, after waiting for the iPhone 5 and Note 2), are the S3, iP5 or N2.

Why buy a One X over any of the others? The extra money you spend on one of the others, which isn't a lot anyway, will be recouped when you sell it on (or made back in a more functional, more enjoyable time spent with the device).


I'm with matty on this one - I used the One X and iPhone 4S - jailbreaked and vanilla... And I did like the One X, but "better"? It may be more appropriate for certain needs, but it's inferior in too many areas to be called better. And they are important areas, too: reception (WiFi & 3G), battery life and camera all stink in compoarison to the iPhone 4S.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 18, 2012 at 11:58

The One X is better than the iPhone 4S even with my Android-tinted spectacles off.

It's a good call from Chou, I definitely agree with the path he's taking, but they were saying this sort of thing before the One series launched so they really need to execute well next spring.

Really? A badly built, fast depreciating, comparatively laggy phone with even less memory options than an iPhone (at least the iPhone comes in 3 capacities) is better than the 4S?

The only logical choices for a high-end phone now (well, after waiting for the iPhone 5 and Note 2), are the S3, iP5 or N2.

Why buy a One X over any of the others? The extra money you spend on one of the others, which isn't a lot anyway, will be recouped when you sell it on (or made back in a more functional, more enjoyable time spent with the device).


I'm with matty on this one - I used the One X and iPhone 4S - jailbreaked and vanilla... And I did like the One X, but "better"? It may be more appropriate for certain needs, but it's inferior in too many areas to be called better. And they are important areas, too: reception (WiFi & 3G), battery life and camera all stink in compoarison to the iPhone 4S.

Ahh, I'd forgotten about the One X's questionable wireless radios...

I was going to mention battery life, but its too easy for people to just say "I get 1,000,000 days out of my One X/iPhone/S3 etc". As for the camera, al the new HTC cameras are good for is taking lots of pictures in quick succession, it's just a shame that all of those many pictures are crap quality in comparison to those taken by some other phones.

Final note, it's nice to get a response above and beyond "Lol.", it's like having a conversation with someone who isn't still in primary school.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 18, 2012 at 12:02

The One X is better than the iPhone 4S even with my Android-tinted spectacles off.

It's a good call from Chou, I definitely agree with the path he's taking, but they were saying this sort of thing before the One series launched so they really need to execute well next spring.

Really? A badly built, fast depreciating, comparatively laggy phone with even less memory options than an iPhone (at least the iPhone comes in 3 capacities) is better than the 4S?

The only logical choices for a high-end phone now (well, after waiting for the iPhone 5 and Note 2), are the S3, iP5 or N2.

Why buy a One X over any of the others? The extra money you spend on one of the others, which isn't a lot anyway, will be recouped when you sell it on (or made back in a more functional, more enjoyable time spent with the device).


I'm with matty on this one - I used the One X and iPhone 4S - jailbreaked and vanilla... And I did like the One X, but "better"? It may be more appropriate for certain needs, but it's inferior in too many areas to be called better. And they are important areas, too: reception (WiFi & 3G), battery life and camera all stink in compoarison to the iPhone 4S.

Ahh, I'd forgotten about the One X's questionable wireless radios...

I was going to mention battery life, but its too easy for people to just say "I get 1,000,000 days out of my One X/iPhone/S3 etc". As for the camera, al the new HTC cameras are good for is taking lots of pictures in quick succession, it's just a shame that all of those many pictures are crap quality in comparison to those taken by some other phones.

Final note, it's nice to get a response above and beyond "Lol.", it's like having a conversation with someone who isn't still in primary school.


Yes.
HTC nailed the camera UI and feature set. They are excellent. But they also emphasise the poor photo quality. Especially in low light the One-series is no better than some 2 mega pixlers I used.
As to battery life: you're right.
But I can honestly say that I used the HTC One X/S and the iPhone 4 S in very similar conditions and identical locations (signal impacts battery life)... and the iPhone 4S beats them.
For the folks itching to call me fanboy: I'm using a Nokia N9

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 18, 2012 at 12:26

The One X is better than the iPhone 4S even with my Android-tinted spectacles off.

It's a good call from Chou, I definitely agree with the path he's taking, but they were saying this sort of thing before the One series launched so they really need to execute well next spring.

Really? A badly built, fast depreciating, comparatively laggy phone with even less memory options than an iPhone (at least the iPhone comes in 3 capacities) is better than the 4S?

The only logical choices for a high-end phone now (well, after waiting for the iPhone 5 and Note 2), are the S3, iP5 or N2.

Why buy a One X over any of the others? The extra money you spend on one of the others, which isn't a lot anyway, will be recouped when you sell it on (or made back in a more functional, more enjoyable time spent with the device).


I'm with matty on this one - I used the One X and iPhone 4S - jailbreaked and vanilla... And I did like the One X, but "better"? It may be more appropriate for certain needs, but it's inferior in too many areas to be called better. And they are important areas, too: reception (WiFi & 3G), battery life and camera all stink in compoarison to the iPhone 4S.

Ahh, I'd forgotten about the One X's questionable wireless radios...

I was going to mention battery life, but its too easy for people to just say "I get 1,000,000 days out of my One X/iPhone/S3 etc". As for the camera, al the new HTC cameras are good for is taking lots of pictures in quick succession, it's just a shame that all of those many pictures are crap quality in comparison to those taken by some other phones.

Final note, it's nice to get a response above and beyond "Lol.", it's like having a conversation with someone who isn't still in primary school.


Yes.
HTC nailed the camera UI and feature set. They are excellent. But they also emphasise the poor photo quality. Especially in low light the One-series is no better than some 2 mega pixlers I used.
As to battery life: you're right.
But I can honestly say that I used the HTC One X/S and the iPhone 4 S in very similar conditions and identical locations (signal impacts battery life)... and the iPhone 4S beats them.
For the folks itching to call me fanboy: I'm using a Nokia N9

You're about the least "fanboy" person I've come across on the internet. Even me, with my Android loving ways, will admit that the iPhone 4S is a better all-round device than the HTC One X.

I've only had the pleasure (I think) of using a One X for a couple of days, in this time it was slower, more laggy and had a worse battery life than my S2. Which is why the S2 stayed and the One X didn't.

The One X does have good points, it's display is amazingly crisp and sharp and I liked the feel of its polycarbonate back. But when they're the best two things you can think of to say about a device, it's definitely not a keeper.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 18, 2012 at 12:31

Yes, I agree, it feels good - compared to, e.g., the SGS3's body it's a lot less awkward to handle. And I prefer the screen. But as you say, those are not the BIG deciding factors for me, either

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 18, 2012 at 12:41

True, it's better than the S2's textured back, so it's definitely better than the S3's shiny back. I think I preferred the display on the One X, too. I could see the PenTile-ness on the S3's screen, it just kept "being there". Once I'd seen it, I couldn't un-see it, if that makes sense?

Still, software, performance and how I feel about a device are far bigger decided factors, in my opinion.

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