American Business Leads the Way


Celebrating Innovation and Impact: Xerox and HP have Been Shaping American Business for a Century

“I Xeroxed a mirror. Now I have an extra Xerox machine.” ~ Steven Wright

“A frustrated employee is a greater threat than a merely unhappy one.”Bill & David

How’d those fireworks go on Tuesday? As we celebrate another 4th of July, it’s a good time to look at the recent Ninestar ban through red, white, and blue colored glasses. Sure, the message conveyed to the world is that we, the United States of America, recognize the injustices of slave labor. But will banning toner cartridges force Bejing to reverse a two-decades-long trajectory?

The Ninestar incident gave me pause. With so much negative press permeating media channels, and in light of the 4th of July celebrations, isn’t it a good time to look at our team of home-grown industry players that up until 2017 included Lexmark? I’m referring to the only two US-based OEMs, Xerox and HP.

As industry stalwarts and behemoths, there are plenty of areas to criticize – and that’s fair. These guys are big enough to take the slings and arrows. But take on a contrarian slant, what have these two US companies contributed to the pursuit of happiness? Plenty.

Xerox and HP have played pivotal roles in shaping and improving American business over the past century through their unwavering commitment to innovation and technology. These companies have pushed the boundaries of what is possible, revolutionizing industries and empowering businesses with cutting-edge solutions. From the Fortune 500 to the down-the-street copier dealership.

Xerox was the first to sell a computer system that came with a mouse—the 8010 Star Information System in 1981.”

Scientific America, 2009

The invention of xerography transformed the way businesses operated. For nearly a century, copied documents have been the lifeblood of business and this industry. Xerox’s PARC contributions are forgotten or overlooked – it brought the ‘mouse’ to market. More than hardware, as an integral part of almost every business process, Xerox was positioned to help streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and enable businesses to operate efficiently. Those who didn’t sell or work for Xerox benefited. And those who did received the additional benefit of top-notch training.

Similarly, HP has been at the forefront of technological advancements, consistently introducing innovative products that have transformed the computing and printing landscape. From pioneering inkjet printing to developing powerful computing systems, HP has empowered businesses with tools that drive efficiency, creativity, and collaboration. Their innovations have facilitated remote work, improved data management, and enhanced communication, contributing to the evolution of American business practices.

In 1972, using advanced integrated-circuit technology, Hewlett-Packard unveiled the first pocket-sized calculator. Selling at one-sixth the price of the original desktop unit, the pocket calculator eventually forced the obsolescence of the venerable slide rule.


Both Xerox and HP have influenced and created both the input and output stages of business processes – capturing, computing, & presenting data – beyond their own product lines, as they have fostered the ecosystem of office technology and inspired other businesses to innovate and embrace emerging technologies.

Their impact over the past 100 years serves as a testament to the transformative power of innovation and technology in shaping the landscape of American business.

Happy Independence Day.

– Greg Walters, Head Writer