The Legacy of HP Management Expertise: Quibi

July 1, 2020

When I hear the name “quibi”, I think of Hewlett Packard in the era of Meg Whitman. My focus narrows to some interesting decisions by the Board of Directors, a somewhat high-profile acquisition, a vendetta which targets a feisty computer scientist, and a great big lawsuit. The lawsuit by the way is of the variety that is likely to be a source of income for attorneys for years to come. You know the litigation matter: Meg Whitman’s former outfit and the Cambridge engineer/scientist Mike Lynch. I will name the word: Autonomy.

I read “The Fall of Quibi: How Did a Starry $1.75bn Netflix Rival Crash So Fast.” What’s interesting about this “real” newspaper’s “real” news story is that it mostly misses the boat or, at the very list, trips over the step when boarding the tube.

The article identifies what anyone listening to chatter in the line up to buy a Starbuck’s confection knows: Short videos, free for some people, no one cares, and an oddball selection of content without programs like Cheers or Seinfeld.

What catches the attention of would be financiers is the number $1.75 billion. What catches the attention of those with Hollywood in their DNA is the name Jeffrey Katzenberg. What catches the attention of the DarkCyber research team is the co Big Dog Meg Whitman.

The “real” news story cares little about Ms. Whitman and her management “successes.” I assume that those researching the story were unaware that some individuals with first hand information about her management expertise were just too difficult to reach. What’s the distance? Maybe a mile, maybe less.

The write up states:

Notionally, Quibi endeavored to industrialize a new frontier of television: short-form narratives – that is, episodes of 15 minutes or less – at its shortest and most expansive.

Okay.

Here’s a promising factoid, courtesy of a Murdoch-owned “real” news outfit:

Meanwhile, several unflattering reports have depicted internal strife behind the scenes. The Wall Street Journal detailed longstanding friction between Katzenberg and Whitman’s working relationship.

DarkCyber believes that there is a ton of useful information floating around about Quibi. There’s a gold mine of information about Ms. Whitman and her approach to guiding a business. There’s even information available to put some meat on the bones of the launch during the pandemic.

What do we get? “Real” news.

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2020

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