HP, however, is not eBay. Whitman has no coattails to ride on. She has no direct marching orders. She has not been given a task that somebody of her ilk can make magic with.

When she joined eBay, it was easy enough to put her MBA-geared brain to work and navigate the waters from startup to mega-corporation. HP requires wholesale change. It's not about taking what you've been given and managing it for growth and stability. It's about creating something entirely new.

At least that's what it should be about at HP.

Meg Whitman should not be talking about a smartphone. She should not be sending her team off to take their time on the project because, of course, we would rather get it right this time than get it out the door fast. What a complete and utter waste of human capital and shareholder money.

Whitman should not be saying anything. She should be holed up in her office or wherever she does her best thinking ... thinking. Yes, thinking.

Thinking about how HP can shape the world with something original two, three, five years down the line. Instead, she does like every other lame company that bites at Apple's ankles. She sends these poor employees off with vague marching orders - Let's build a smartphone!.

Just what we need. Another iPhone knockoff. This will not end well.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Rocco Pendola is a private investor with nearly 20 years experience in various forms of media, ranging from radio to print. His work has appeared in academic journals as well as dozens of online and offline publications. He uses his broad experience to help inform his coverage of the stock market, primarily in the technology, Internet and new media spaces. He has taken a long-term approach to investing, focusing on dividend-paying stocks, since he opened his first account as a teenager. Pendola, 37, is based in Santa Monica, Calif., where he lives with his wife and child.

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