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The President and CEO of Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, reveals how to identify and exploit the key moments of change in any industry that generates either drastic failure or incredible success. Under Andrew Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest computer chipmaker, the 5th most admired company in America, and the 7th most profitable company among The President and CEO of Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, reveals how to identify and exploit the key moments of change in any industry that generates either drastic failure or incredible success. Under Andrew Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest computer chipmaker, the 5th most admired company in America, and the 7th most profitable company among the Fortune 500. Few CEOs can claim this level of success. Grove attributes much of it to the philosophy and strategy he has learned the hard way as he steered Intel through a series of potential major disasters. There are moments in any business when massive change occurs, when all the rules of business shift fast, furiously and forever. Grove calls such moments strategic inflection points (SIPs), and he has lived through several. They can be set off by almost anything - by mega competition, an arcane change in regulations, or by a seemingly modest change in technology. They are not always easy to spot - but you can't hide from them. Intel's first SIP was when the Japanese started producing better-quality, lower-cost memory chips. It took Grove three years and huge losses to recognize that he had to rethink and reposition the company to become, once again, leader in its field.Grove extrapolates the lessons he has learned from this and other SIPs - for instance the drama of the Pentium flaw, and the SIP brought on by the Internet - to reveal a unique insight into the management of change. He recounts strategies from other companies and examines his own record of success and failure. Only the Paranoid Survive is a classic lesson in leadership skills that every manager in every industry will benefit from. Every manager must assume that something will change - very soon.


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The President and CEO of Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, reveals how to identify and exploit the key moments of change in any industry that generates either drastic failure or incredible success. Under Andrew Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest computer chipmaker, the 5th most admired company in America, and the 7th most profitable company among The President and CEO of Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, reveals how to identify and exploit the key moments of change in any industry that generates either drastic failure or incredible success. Under Andrew Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest computer chipmaker, the 5th most admired company in America, and the 7th most profitable company among the Fortune 500. Few CEOs can claim this level of success. Grove attributes much of it to the philosophy and strategy he has learned the hard way as he steered Intel through a series of potential major disasters. There are moments in any business when massive change occurs, when all the rules of business shift fast, furiously and forever. Grove calls such moments strategic inflection points (SIPs), and he has lived through several. They can be set off by almost anything - by mega competition, an arcane change in regulations, or by a seemingly modest change in technology. They are not always easy to spot - but you can't hide from them. Intel's first SIP was when the Japanese started producing better-quality, lower-cost memory chips. It took Grove three years and huge losses to recognize that he had to rethink and reposition the company to become, once again, leader in its field.Grove extrapolates the lessons he has learned from this and other SIPs - for instance the drama of the Pentium flaw, and the SIP brought on by the Internet - to reveal a unique insight into the management of change. He recounts strategies from other companies and examines his own record of success and failure. Only the Paranoid Survive is a classic lesson in leadership skills that every manager in every industry will benefit from. Every manager must assume that something will change - very soon.

30 review for Only the Paranoid Survive. Lessons from the CEO of INTEL Corporation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Saurabh Hooda

    I picked this book because it was referred by Ben Horowitz (http://bhorowitz.com/2011/04/15/peace...). Other reason being the book's interesting title which somehow conveyed to me that it must be a book about how Andy Grove was paranoid (in good sense) enough to make Intel an Awesome company. But as soon as started the book I become disappointed because it's not the book I thought it to be. Its not about Andy Grove being tough CEO or his paranoid decisions. It's is just like any other common busi I picked this book because it was referred by Ben Horowitz (http://bhorowitz.com/2011/04/15/peace...). Other reason being the book's interesting title which somehow conveyed to me that it must be a book about how Andy Grove was paranoid (in good sense) enough to make Intel an Awesome company. But as soon as started the book I become disappointed because it's not the book I thought it to be. Its not about Andy Grove being tough CEO or his paranoid decisions. It's is just like any other common business book written by a High profile CEO. Book is all about "Strategic Inflection Point" that in simple language means any BIG turn of events in your company (or your industry or technology) like Intel ditched Memory business - the business it started with - and moved to microprocessors business. Book doesn't give any practical tips or secret sauce to handle these big turn of events. Nothing at all. It's more like slog it through, brainstorm with your team, decisions can be tough, you need to take your team with you etc etc. But you would have read all those in 100s of blogs previously. There are few interesting chunks in the book: 1. CxOs (or senior management team) are always 'last to know' guys. They get bad news very, very late. This is so true, I totally agree to this. Your middle management will filter the info/news before presenting it to you, and nearly all the times they will present data/story in a format so that they look smart, tough, intelligent and proactive. No one wants to tell the bad news. Create a culture in your team/company so that people are open to you (or their supervisors) without any inhibition of being reprimanded/joked/ignored or given a look like it's above your pay grade dude. Create an open and transparent culture. Be open to healthy arguments, in fact encourage healthy arguments. This culture can't be created in days or months, it will take years but it'll be worth it. 2. People (even competent, highly intelligent, serious-minded people) can come to different set of conclusions about a given set of facts. For ex: IBM and Intel went two different ways on using X-Ray to define feature of a chip. So nothing is Right or Wrong. Iterate and Iterate as fast as you can. Fast iteration is better than slower qualitative iteration. Another thing that i realized while reading this book is: Why am I reading this book? I am a wannabe entrepreneur and this book is about Billion Dollars Big Critical decisions. It, by no means, immediately benefit me. This 'might' be helpful for senior management guys but for everyone else: just give it a pass.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Inflection The strategies and decisions, and luck, Intel embraced are remarkable and to cover them all in detail in a short book would have been impossible. The fundamental essence of this book is that the only constant we can expect in business is CHANGE. How do we anticipate it? How do we prepare for that point where we either change or die? The ones we sometimes see coming and the ones we don’t. That Inflection Point. Can we recognise or anticipate change or do we create processes that enabl Inflection The strategies and decisions, and luck, Intel embraced are remarkable and to cover them all in detail in a short book would have been impossible. The fundamental essence of this book is that the only constant we can expect in business is CHANGE. How do we anticipate it? How do we prepare for that point where we either change or die? The ones we sometimes see coming and the ones we don’t. That Inflection Point. Can we recognise or anticipate change or do we create processes that enable us to rapidly respond once the change is obvious? For well-established market leaders that fail, this is typically why. History is littered with huge multi-national companies that failed to see the change and respond effectively - they don't exist anymore. Intel was nearly one of those companies but this book provides very interesting insight and the remarkable thinking that existed within Intel at the time to deal with the pivot necessary to save their business. The book is written with the flow of a story, which helps it resonate well. It also reminds us that many decisions involve agonising analysis and reasoning, and are extremely personal. The book is full of Grove’s war stories which are really interesting and relevant as we lived through many of these events. A good point that I remember from the book is when Andrew Grove recollects his darkest moment 'when he realised that not only were the Japanese cheaper in manufacturing memory chips, but their quality levels were at levels that Intel didn’t even think possible'. Intel’s move away from memory to microprocessors was traumatic and the inflection “point” was not so much a point as a long drawn out and painful affair. The backdrop to that inflection point and other points, make this book a great learning experience. I love the term and the concept Only the Paranoid Survive, which in business keeps us on our toes worrying about that change which is inevitably coming. This is a short easy read that I would recommend.

  3. 5 out of 5

    George Jankovic

    Today Andy Grove died at the age of 79. His book "Only the Paranoid Survive" talks about his key business philosophy. One should always be on the lookout for new trends or products that might displace or destroy yours. Under him, Intel was famous for cannibilizing their older chips, their cash cows, with the new ones. The competition just couldn't follow their relentless pace. I recommend the book to everyone in management or business whether in high-tech or not. Today Andy Grove died at the age of 79. His book "Only the Paranoid Survive" talks about his key business philosophy. One should always be on the lookout for new trends or products that might displace or destroy yours. Under him, Intel was famous for cannibilizing their older chips, their cash cows, with the new ones. The competition just couldn't follow their relentless pace. I recommend the book to everyone in management or business whether in high-tech or not.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erwin

    Only The Paranoid Survive Key Quotes: "The replacement of corporate heads is far more motivated by the need to bring in someone who is not invested in the past than to get somebody who is a better leader or better manager in other ways." ---Andy Grove, Only the Paranoid Survive (p127) Strategic change doesn't just start at the top, it starts with your calendar. ---(p146) "Put all of your eggs in one basket, then WATCH THAT BASKET" --- Mark Twain Ask yourself: 'Will going to this meeting teach me about t Only The Paranoid Survive Key Quotes: "The replacement of corporate heads is far more motivated by the need to bring in someone who is not invested in the past than to get somebody who is a better leader or better manager in other ways." ---Andy Grove, Only the Paranoid Survive (p127) Strategic change doesn't just start at the top, it starts with your calendar. ---(p146) "Put all of your eggs in one basket, then WATCH THAT BASKET" --- Mark Twain Ask yourself: 'Will going to this meeting teach me about the new technology or the new market that I think is very important now?' 'Will it introduce me to people who can help me in the new direction?' 'Will it send a message about the importance of the new direction?' If so, go to it. If not, resist it. --- (p154) [Great leadership during change starts by letting chaos reign (debate), then, when the time is right, reign in the chaos (determined march)] This dynamic dialectic is a must. --- (p161) The best part of Andy Grove's book might be the title: "Only the Paranoid Survive". Large organizations often fail, because they don't adapt fast enough. There are two types of forces that organizations run into. 1x forces, which fall within the normal action/reaction that people and organizations are easily able to adjust to. However, there are also 10x forces that fundamentally change the rules, and most people and most organizations fail to adapt to these more fundamental changes quickly enough. For example, think of these changes as waves in the ocean. The wave may come from any direction, but all are manageable. However, occasionally there is a tidal wave --- which you can detect and respond properly to, but that response is fundamentally different than the way you respond to a normal 1x wave. In Intel's case, they faced 10x forces twice. 1. Intel started in the RAM business. Japanese factories caught up with them. The Japanese had lower cost structures and higher volumes, and government support - they sucked all of the profit out of the RAM business and ultimately took Intel's market share. Intel managed the transition by moving from a RAM company to a CPU company. 2. Customers boycotting Intel CPUs. Intel never thought of end-customers as their customers, because they didn't sell direct to the end customers. However, they started branding their CPUs and asked manufacturers to put an "Intel Inside" logo on computers that used Intel CPUs. When they ran into small manufacturing problems and didn't take massive steps to correct those problems, their end consumers felt that Intel was taking advantage of them, and therefore started boycotting their chips. Intel took massive losses, but eventually recognized they needed to service both end-consumers and their normal manufacturer customers. According to Andy, there are 6 areas where theses 1x and 10x forces can start: 1: Competition: Ex. Your a mom & pop shop when wall-mart comes to town 2: Technology: Ex. Sound takes over silent films, Containers overtake shipping of loose items, PC revolution 3: Customers: Changing taste in Ford/GM cars. Attitude shifts. Super-computers. 4: Suppliers: Airlines vs Travel Agents. "Second Sourcing" in the tech component business. 5: Complementors: 6: Regulation: Patent Medicines, Telecommunication, Privatization, EPA Finally, Grove cautions us to always remain aware. Your business will fundamentally be hit by 10x changes. It's just a question of WHEN, and HOW YOU RESPOND to those changes. The earlier and more accurately you identify 10x changes, the more freedom you have to choose your response, because your original business will provide the resources to jump-start the new business. As you go through the transition, you should "let go" of the system, and learn from the people below you - Andy says "To Let Chaos Reign". But once you have all the information you need to properly identify the new business (typically including completed marketing, completed testing) then you must take control, "Reign in the Chaos", and quickly complete the transition to the new business model.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David

    This book discusses some really important ideas, primarily the "10x forces" that fundamentally change businesses and the "strategic inflection points" during which an industry is transformed by these "10x forces" (yes, he quotes that term everywhere it appears in the book). Grove explores these ideas using his experience as CEO during Intel's switch from making memories to making microprocessors in the late 80's as the primary example, but he emphasizes that these ideas are not unique to the tec This book discusses some really important ideas, primarily the "10x forces" that fundamentally change businesses and the "strategic inflection points" during which an industry is transformed by these "10x forces" (yes, he quotes that term everywhere it appears in the book). Grove explores these ideas using his experience as CEO during Intel's switch from making memories to making microprocessors in the late 80's as the primary example, but he emphasizes that these ideas are not unique to the tech industry and also explores SIPs in other industries ranging from sound in the movie industry to Wal-Mart in retail. After explaining these concepts and pointing to that range of examples, the author spends most of the book discussing how to manage companies during these crises: how to know that you're in the middle of a SIP, how to separate signal from noise during that confusing period, and the importance of fostering healthy debate but subsequently projecting decisive leadership. The material covered in this book is important for anyone in business, and I mostly agreed with the author's high-level ideas but I was disappointed by the book itself. The case study of Intel was fascinating, especially hearing it told from the man in charge at the time. But much of the advice was either obvious or overly simplistic. For an obvious example, take the idea of listening to what your sales people and individual contributors on the ground are telling you about how their jobs are changing. This seems like something managers should *always* be doing. It could be one of those things that sounds obvious when you say it but isn't something you think about when you're in that position. Or maybe I'm unusually aware of these ideas because the book is 15 years old now or because I've been lucky to work for engineering-driven companies that were well aware of these ideas (and socialized them). Quite likely the approach just didn't resonate with me because the book is targeted at middle and senior managers, not individual contributors. The "Reign in Chaos" chapter that describes setting strong direction after a period of open debate had some particularly condescending passages. On page 145 Grove counsels managers that "admitting that you need to learn something new is always difficult. It is even harder if you are a senior manager who is accustomed to the automatic deference which people accord you owning to your position. But if you don't fight it, that very deference may become a wall that isolates you from learning new things. It all takes self-discipline." That's right, it's tough as a senior manager to avoid completely ignoring the ideas of your subordinates, but you can do it with a little bit of self-discipline. Next time one of your reports has something to say and you just want to send them back to the salt mine, consider listening instead. On page 163 there's the story of a "very competent" senior manager at Intel who had some great ideas but according to Grove just went about them poorly. He "organized a committee...to investigate an issue and come up with a recommendation. It turned out that this manager knew all along what he wanted to do, but instead of giving that direction to the committee, which he could have, he was hoping to engineer a bottom-up decision to the same effect. When the committee came up with the opposite recommendation, he felt cornered. At this late stage, he tried to dictate his solution to people who by now had spent months struggling with an issue and had firmed up their minds. It just couldn't be done. Coming as it did at this late stage, his dictate seemed utterly arbitrary." Yes, telling a committee of your reports that the results of their lengthy discussions are all wrong and you're going to do the opposite because you think it's better just _seems_ arbitrary. And I guess the lesson to managers is: don't ask your reports to think about what to do because they'll just come up with the wrong answer and be angry when you set them straight. Despite these parts and the overall lackluster presentation, these ideas _are_ pretty important and the author's obviously considered them a lot. One last thing: the book's a bit old now (written in 1996) and predates things like the Internet's explosive growth, but to the author's credit in several cases he accurately forecast industry-transforming changes including the Internet's disruption of the travel booking industry and the difficulty that faces music, movie, and software companies in a world where people can download media through the Internet. The last chapter covers "The Internet" entirely and basically asks: "fad or the biggest innovation of the century" -- he comes down on the right side, but with our hindsight it makes for some interesting reading.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Andy Grove, then CEO of Intel Corp, is clearly worth listening to on the subject of management. The "Wintel" success story is well known. More harrowing was Intel's earlier self-transformation from making memory chips to making microprocessors. How to steer an enterprise thru a major change in its business, per Mr. Grove: 1) Figure out if a major change is imminent. If so, you're about to enter what Grove calls "the valley of death". 2) Figure out how to deal with it. Largely (for CEOs), this invo Andy Grove, then CEO of Intel Corp, is clearly worth listening to on the subject of management. The "Wintel" success story is well known. More harrowing was Intel's earlier self-transformation from making memory chips to making microprocessors. How to steer an enterprise thru a major change in its business, per Mr. Grove: 1) Figure out if a major change is imminent. If so, you're about to enter what Grove calls "the valley of death". 2) Figure out how to deal with it. Largely (for CEOs), this involves listening to your employees & doing your homework. 3) Set a new course, sell it to your company, and stick to it. The "secret" to success here is identifying the oncoming crisis early & reacting sensibly. He relates the story of Apple, a company with clearly superior products - the Mac operating system, the first good laser printer - completely missing the shift from proprietary to open PC standards, and ending up as a niche player. John Sculley, then Apple's CEO, acknowledged this crucial mistake years later. Groves thinks Sculley knew this shift was happening , but wasn't able to overcome Apple's "inertia of success". Curiously, this was pretty much the same problem IBM had when PCs began displacing mainframes. It's very hard for an organization to give up a strategy that has been richly rewarded in the past. In management, as in engineering, we often learn more from failures than successes. Grove's case histories will make informative reading for anyone in business. Not many of us are CEOs, but we'll all go thru Grove's "strategic inflection points" in our careers. [Review written 1998]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jaak Ennuste

    In the business books category, this one ranks high. Grove asks a fundamental question - how do companies die or survive a strategic inflection point? Translation: how do they survive when a "10x" change hits their business and there are only two trajectories: exponential growth or rapid decline to zero. There are never clear answers to any such questions. But there are processes. One must constantly ask whether changes that are happening are "10x changes" or standard business procedure. Is it n In the business books category, this one ranks high. Grove asks a fundamental question - how do companies die or survive a strategic inflection point? Translation: how do they survive when a "10x" change hits their business and there are only two trajectories: exponential growth or rapid decline to zero. There are never clear answers to any such questions. But there are processes. One must constantly ask whether changes that are happening are "10x changes" or standard business procedure. Is it noise, or a signal? Constant communication in between employees is crucial as well: generally the top management is the last to realize that changes are anew, since they are not the ones on the "battleground". That point may have changed since the 90s as data exchange was not as fluent back then. Nonetheless, employees who talk to customers on a daily basis have the type of information that top management will never have. Once a 10x change is detected, action must be clear and instant. Grove highlights how oftentimes managers who are at strategic inflection points spend their time going to conferences, writing books, doing charity. In other words, doing all types of other things so that they would not have to deal with the most difficult task they will face during their time as CEO. I can't help but delve into current affairs as well. Ever since Covid-19 started spreading in the Western world, I have been thinking about the title of this book quite often. Had world leaders and people in general been a bit more paranoid, some carnage would have been circumvented.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Farhana

    2.5/5 (I was thinking to give it 2.2. But since the book dates back at 1998 & I see some of Grove's prediction has come true by this time, I think 2.5 is enough) My favorite moment from the book is when Gordon Moore & Grove decides to get rid of the memory business at Intel in the face of an inflection point by Japanese manufacturers. This reminds me, most often we hold the key to put a stop to our misery but we barely notice that. I appreciate Grove's approach to introduce various inflection poi 2.5/5 (I was thinking to give it 2.2. But since the book dates back at 1998 & I see some of Grove's prediction has come true by this time, I think 2.5 is enough) My favorite moment from the book is when Gordon Moore & Grove decides to get rid of the memory business at Intel in the face of an inflection point by Japanese manufacturers. This reminds me, most often we hold the key to put a stop to our misery but we barely notice that. I appreciate Grove's approach to introduce various inflection points in the business from his experience at Intel. But the book is not so well written. Grove surely knows what he has to offer but couldn't match that expectation with his writing. The details of the examples are inadequate & still too short to be sufficient. Many characters are kept anonymous & criticisms are blunt. I guess he took safe side. May be he didn't want to piss off many people. Recently, I finished Steve Jobs' biography & I see he's not that open to Steve's support for vertical platform. And I see he's praising Sculley. :3 Okay, I feel if this book have any new edition, Steve Jobs must have his rightful distinguished place since he revolutionized Apple after his return at 1997.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tirath

    I had heard so much about this book being a classic, and I finally read it. Whats lovely is that it was written in 1996, and he lays out the principles of how to prepare for, deal with and manage change - especially when it comes to a change in how the business works... When industries/ structures/ networks change - it can ruin organisations or catapult them to dominant positions. It is also a signal to either scale up in that direction or retreat completely out of the current one. It's also a bril I had heard so much about this book being a classic, and I finally read it. Whats lovely is that it was written in 1996, and he lays out the principles of how to prepare for, deal with and manage change - especially when it comes to a change in how the business works... When industries/ structures/ networks change - it can ruin organisations or catapult them to dominant positions. It is also a signal to either scale up in that direction or retreat completely out of the current one. It's also a brilliant reason why value investors hate businesses that are prone to significant changes - because then, one has to rely on management prowess to be able to change, and that tends to be unpredictable. Brilliant book. Last 2 chapters got boring, but some stories and examples are brilliant.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lech Kaniuk

    A absolute must read for every serious entrepreneur. I wish to become as good leader and entrepreneur as he was. This book does not only touch a very interesting topic that mean life or death for enterprises, but adding the fact that the book was written in the nineties - it's very interesting to see a world class CEOs view on the potential changes Internet will bring - from our perspective in the year 2016. A absolute must read for every serious entrepreneur. I wish to become as good leader and entrepreneur as he was. This book does not only touch a very interesting topic that mean life or death for enterprises, but adding the fact that the book was written in the nineties - it's very interesting to see a world class CEOs view on the potential changes Internet will bring - from our perspective in the year 2016.

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

    Surprisingly readable book about what it's like to be at a company at the moment when it has to either change the way it operates or go into a decline. That said, I wish I were not the kind of person who now reads business books for fun. Surprisingly readable book about what it's like to be at a company at the moment when it has to either change the way it operates or go into a decline. That said, I wish I were not the kind of person who now reads business books for fun.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bartosz Majewski

    I've written about it here: https://bmajewski.wordpress.com/2016/.... Shortly speaking i liked it a lot. It's not as great as Grove's previous work - high output management. I've written about it here: https://bmajewski.wordpress.com/2016/.... Shortly speaking i liked it a lot. It's not as great as Grove's previous work - high output management.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Seckin

    A great read on one of the best companies built in the 20th century. Every person in technology should read this book and see how it is difficult to create great companies

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zhou Fang

    This is a quick read, although I can't say it's all that useful. Grove starts with Porter's Five Forces as a framework for business analysis, and then considers situations in which one of the forces increases by tenfold. The principles he outlays for such a situation are described as such: "One, don’t differentiate without a difference. Don’t introduce improvements whose only purpose is to give you an advantage over your competitor without giving your customer a substantial advantage. Two, in this This is a quick read, although I can't say it's all that useful. Grove starts with Porter's Five Forces as a framework for business analysis, and then considers situations in which one of the forces increases by tenfold. The principles he outlays for such a situation are described as such: "One, don’t differentiate without a difference. Don’t introduce improvements whose only purpose is to give you an advantage over your competitor without giving your customer a substantial advantage. Two, in this hypercompetitive horizontal world, opportunity knocks when a technology break or other fundamental change comes your way. Grab it. The first mover and only the first mover, the company that acts while the others dither, has a true opportunity to gain time over its competitors—and time advantage, in this business, is the surest way to gain market share. Three, price for what the market will bear, price for volume, then work like the devil on your costs so that you can make money at that price. This will lead you to achieve economies of scale in which the large investments that are necessary can be effective and productive and will make sense because, by being a large-volume supplier, you can spread and recoup those costs. By contrast, cost-based pricing will often lead you into a niche position, which in a mass-production-based industry is not very lucrative." As CEO of Intel, Grove reflects on a time in which the Pentium processor received significant negative press. He describes the ways that he addressed the situation as the leader of a large organization. He emphasizes the importance of listening to middle management, as those are the people who are closest to seeing the trends develop with customers and markets. He focuses on keeping emotions of senior management under control to properly grasp the changing environment: "Senior managers got to where they are by having been good at what they do. And over time they have learned to lead with their strengths. So it’s not surprising that they will keep implementing the same strategic and tactical moves that worked for them during the course of their careers—especially during their “championship season.” I call this phenomenon the inertia of success. It is extremely dangerous and it can reinforce denial." "Admitting that you need to learn something new is always difficult. It is even harder if you are a senior manager who is accustomed to the automatic deference which people accord you owing to your position. But if you don’t fight it, that very deference may become a wall that isolates you from learning new things. It all takes self-discipline." Moreover, it's not merely a question of understanding that a shift in the industry is occurring, it also requires a leader with the charisma to lead based on his vision: "I was stunned when I heard this. Listening to Sculley gave me the impression that he understood the implications of the horizontal industry structure. It appeared that he just wasn’t strong enough to overpower Apple’s inertia of success that existed because of its fifteen-year history as a fully vertical computer company." Overall, while this book is a short read, I can't say that it's particularly insightful or persuasive in terms of management advice. I have a lot of respect for Andrew Grove, but much of this book amounts to the typical business book conjecture, with assertions that lack significant evidence outside of anecdotes.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Murugan Manoj

    Brilliantly written. While the businesses of the day talk about real-time data crunching, lead and lag indicators in depth. Here's a leader's guide to mending your business instincts, picking up patterns that even the most meticulously collated data might fail to capture. Right from the horse's mouth, the legendary CEO narrates several "been there done that" experiences from the decades that define the birth of modern computers. Connecting with the pure genius of Drucker and Porter this book is jus Brilliantly written. While the businesses of the day talk about real-time data crunching, lead and lag indicators in depth. Here's a leader's guide to mending your business instincts, picking up patterns that even the most meticulously collated data might fail to capture. Right from the horse's mouth, the legendary CEO narrates several "been there done that" experiences from the decades that define the birth of modern computers. Connecting with the pure genius of Drucker and Porter this book is just one among the most valuable "MUST read" for entrepreneurs and executives in the making. Anyone can sail the still waters of good times, it requires a master and watchful leader to navigate the turbulent waves of deep seas. This equips one approach for such deep waters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Rivas

    For being a book that is over 30 years old I thoroughly enjoyed the wisdom of this author. His theory of "inflection points" and how to navigate them or know you are in one is amazing. Plus, he uses the term "10X" a lot in this book and I wonder if he was the original person to coin the term. I know Grant Cardone, another great author, uses it more than anyone else and even wrote a book with the "10X" in the title. I can see why Intel is still a powerful company on this planet and this author wa For being a book that is over 30 years old I thoroughly enjoyed the wisdom of this author. His theory of "inflection points" and how to navigate them or know you are in one is amazing. Plus, he uses the term "10X" a lot in this book and I wonder if he was the original person to coin the term. I know Grant Cardone, another great author, uses it more than anyone else and even wrote a book with the "10X" in the title. I can see why Intel is still a powerful company on this planet and this author was instrumental in taking Intel into the business capacity they are at now. I have read many books by CEO's and this is definitely on the top of the list.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yu Hao

    Disappointing read. Was a rather short book that can be finished over a weekend. Puts forth a few neat-sounding concepts (i.e. x10 force, inflection point) that in fact, do not offer much insights. Anecdotes offered are also often superficial. This was exacerbated by the fact that Grove is a management legend and as readers, we expect a lot more from someone with his track record.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Preston Williams

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Good book. This book was written in 1996, and like anything has started to show its age. The basic messages/ themes still ring true. Although it is funny to read about Apple and Steve Jobs and how they were basically regarded as being left for dead. Now of course, Jobs came back strong and have higher market capitalization than Microsoft. So, I guess the lesson is that this book is good, but you have to still take it with a grain of salt and put it in perspective. My favorite part was when he Good book. This book was written in 1996, and like anything has started to show its age. The basic messages/ themes still ring true. Although it is funny to read about Apple and Steve Jobs and how they were basically regarded as being left for dead. Now of course, Jobs came back strong and have higher market capitalization than Microsoft. So, I guess the lesson is that this book is good, but you have to still take it with a grain of salt and put it in perspective. My favorite part was when he was talking to another CEO type about the direction of Intel and about getting out of the memory biz an into microprocessors. The idea of walking out of the building and coming back in like you were a brand new manager/ ceo. I think that was the real gem of the book. Highlighting that the best CEO is extremely flexible and creative with the way he/ she thinks. Never be held back by the past, either with situations or your previous thinking. I also really liked the idea of basing decisions of facts and data. At the same time he stresses the importance of data lag and having to make decisions before all the data has been compiled because the world changes so fast and you only get one chance to become the first mover. The biggest flaw for me, in the book, was that some industries don't experience a strategic inflection point that often. I imagine that silicon valley and computer related businesses experience SIP s quite often. So if you are in a business that is slow moving and slow changing, a lot of this book could fall on deaf ears for you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Subu

    I understand why CEOs around Silicon Valley look to Andy Grove's books for inspiration. Written in 1996 (20 years ago!) his thesis still feels very relevant and I learned a great deal from his examples from running Intel that are helping me to be a more productive & thoughtful employee in small scrappy startups. I read High Output Management before, and had a harder time relating his examples to my work in small unstructured startups - but I was able to glide through this quickly. The big key tak I understand why CEOs around Silicon Valley look to Andy Grove's books for inspiration. Written in 1996 (20 years ago!) his thesis still feels very relevant and I learned a great deal from his examples from running Intel that are helping me to be a more productive & thoughtful employee in small scrappy startups. I read High Output Management before, and had a harder time relating his examples to my work in small unstructured startups - but I was able to glide through this quickly. The big key takeaways for me to remember: When change comes to an industry, often the most established company (and the upper management who are most isolated & have the most invested in the way things are) are the slowest to adapt and move forward with the new reality. You have to always listen to the Cassandras of your organization (on the ground people usually) and catch hints of discomfort & change. Allow some creative chaos while you're figuring out the new direction, but then as a manager, you then need to rein it in to direct everyone forward. You will generally regret not making the uncomfortable/scary decision to change earlier. You'll probably make it too late, or if you're lucky, just in time. Also, I'm just impressed he made predictions about the internet being big 20 years ago, and he wasn't far off - though he did have some doubts he admitted. :)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Boni Aditya

    A good book, but quite outdated - though he talks about how to identify 10X trends, or things that have the ability to drive your business into the ground or take you into the skies if you are able to follow the trend and lead it. The advice is sound but the framework developed to recognize the trends or how to act on it isn't as concrete. I wasn't impressed with the solutions offered. They are generic solutions, i.e. get middle management involved in the decision making process, take care of the A good book, but quite outdated - though he talks about how to identify 10X trends, or things that have the ability to drive your business into the ground or take you into the skies if you are able to follow the trend and lead it. The advice is sound but the framework developed to recognize the trends or how to act on it isn't as concrete. I wasn't impressed with the solutions offered. They are generic solutions, i.e. get middle management involved in the decision making process, take care of the inflection points, keep a look out and don't be in delusion, all of these are good advice, but not specific enough. The book can be summed up as. - Beware of dangerous trends and be quick on your feet. That's it, though he used the Computer Revolution to make us understand this phenomenon, it would have been a lot better if he would have researched many other industries which were hit by 10X revolutions, he talked about the Automobile Industry, The Pharma Industry, The Entertainment Industry, but the time allocated to talking about them is minuscule compared to what has been dedicated to talking about computers in depth. Of course, since it is his home ground and home industry, he might have dedicated more resources to that specific sector. But this books can be considered as a Intel Case Study. I read this book because it was referred to in another book - DECISIVE

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tadas Talaikis

    Heard about this book very long ago. I believe like it says - only the paranoid survive. And what's related to business, I'm probably paranoid. Wasn't, but learned. "Possibility that what your business does can be done in a different way." is great thing. If you can't stop over-competitiveness created by over-population, then what you can do, adapt, find new ways. It's interesting to read about technology 20+ years ago: "What is internet anyway?" What is microprocessor anyway? Race with time withou Heard about this book very long ago. I believe like it says - only the paranoid survive. And what's related to business, I'm probably paranoid. Wasn't, but learned. "Possibility that what your business does can be done in a different way." is great thing. If you can't stop over-competitiveness created by over-population, then what you can do, adapt, find new ways. It's interesting to read about technology 20+ years ago: "What is internet anyway?" What is microprocessor anyway? Race with time without a clear destination. With technology now everything that's not primary needs loses its value much faster: Why America's Essentials Are Getting More Expensive While Its Toys Are Getting Cheap. In one word - technology.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    Biggest takeaway for sure is his theory of 10x technological change that can dramatically change an industry. An example would be the switch from vertical to horizontal computer companies, meaning from IBM who build the whole machine to Dell, Intel etc. who manufacture only a certain component. The book is for sure more for managers than anyone else, but also for Entrepreneurs there are nuggets in it worth the read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Khalid Almoghrabi

    Andy is a shrewd leader who took Intel company from a fail to become a success story all over the world. besides chronological events he shows how a company sooner or later will suffer in a turmoil and only the paranoid and surfing against the waves, inflection points, would help out. This book is a strategy-focused and would benefit any person with needed leadership skills.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ami Iida

    It is the best one book to decipher the history of Intel.   This is the autobiography of founder. This book's theme is twofold. One is the innovation of micro Professor. And one is a strategy to sell it. This book focuses on the latter. This is a great book to decipher the strategy. Of course Moore's Law in the semiconductor has also been described. It is the best one book to decipher the history of Intel.   This is the autobiography of founder. This book's theme is twofold. One is the innovation of micro Professor. And one is a strategy to sell it. This book focuses on the latter. This is a great book to decipher the strategy. Of course Moore's Law in the semiconductor has also been described.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This book had some decent concepts. I thought the addition of a 6th (Complementary) force to the traditional Porter's Fiver Forces was very apt and insightful. The book is dated; however, so there is no need to read through fully cover to cover. I think the question, "Is the internet that big a deal? Or is it an overhyped fad?" has been fully put to bed... This book had some decent concepts. I thought the addition of a 6th (Complementary) force to the traditional Porter's Fiver Forces was very apt and insightful. The book is dated; however, so there is no need to read through fully cover to cover. I think the question, "Is the internet that big a deal? Or is it an overhyped fad?" has been fully put to bed...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    An excelent book! It helped me a lot in writing an essay about Intel Corporation and, to my surprise, give some practical advice for future career. This book was better that I'd expected! An excelent book! It helped me a lot in writing an essay about Intel Corporation and, to my surprise, give some practical advice for future career. This book was better that I'd expected!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vikrant Varma

    Inflection points create threats and opportunities - Intel’s CEO explains how the company survived the memory upheaval, and explains some important practical lessons along the way.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Luís Ferreira

    Book about disruption, and how companies should be prepared for Strategic inflection points, and drastically adapt while navigating uncertainty. The interesting example used throughout the book is from Intel, where they changed their business core from DRAM to microprocessors after increased competition from Japanese semiconductor manufacturers who, by 1983, crushed Intel in their previously dominant position in the memory market. My notes: “10X” Force: When a change in how some element of one’s b Book about disruption, and how companies should be prepared for Strategic inflection points, and drastically adapt while navigating uncertainty. The interesting example used throughout the book is from Intel, where they changed their business core from DRAM to microprocessors after increased competition from Japanese semiconductor manufacturers who, by 1983, crushed Intel in their previously dominant position in the memory market. My notes: “10X” Force: When a change in how some element of one’s business is conducted becomes an order of magnitude larger than what that business is accustomed to, then all bets are off. In the face of such “10X” forces, you can lose control of your destiny. Eventually, a new equilibrium in the industry will be reached. What such a transition does to a business is profound, and how the business manages this transition determines its future. I like to describe this phenomenon as an inflection point. The Strategic Inflection Point a strategic inflection point is when the balance of forces shifts from the old structure, from the old ways of doing business and the old ways of competing, to the new. Before the strategic inflection point, the industry simply was more like the old. After it, it is more like the new. The New Rules of the Horizontal Industry When a Wal-Mart moves into a small town, the environment changes for every retailer in that town. A “10X” factor has arrived. When the technology for sound in movies became popular, every silent actor and actress personally experienced the “10X” factor of technological change. When container shipping revolutionized sea transportation, a “10X” factor reordered the major ports around the world. Wal-Mart: An overwhelming force in town Alternatively, so might redefining your business to provide an environment, rather than a product, that people value, like the example of an independent bookstore that became a coffeehouse with books to compete with the chain bookstores that brought Wal-Mart-style competitive advantages to their business. Leading Via Strategic Actions Demoralized organizations are unlikely to be able to deal with multiple objectives in their actions. Three rules: One, don’t differentiate without a difference. Don’t introduce improvements whose only purpose is to give you an advantage over your competitor without giving your customer a substantial advantage. Two, in this hypercompetitive horizontal world, opportunity knocks when a technology break or other fundamental change comes your way. Grab it. The first mover and only the first mover, the company that acts while the others dither, has a true opportunity to gain time over its competitors—and time advantage, in this business, is the surest way to gain market share. Three, price for what the market will bear, price for volume, then work like the devil on your costs so that you can make money at that price. This will lead you to achieve economies of scale in which the large investments that are necessary can be effective and productive and will make sense because, by being a large-volume supplier, you can spread and recoup those costs. “Strategic inflection points are not a phenomenon of the high-tech industry, nor are they something that only happens to the other guy.” On the Future of Internet/Cloud: A few industry figures have been going around touting the emergence of inexpensive “Internet appliances.” These simplified computers would rely on other larger centralized computers someplace on the Internet to store their data and to do much of their number crunching, and would just transmit to the computer users whatever software and data they needed, whenever they needed it. Your Career Is Your Business: Your Career Is Your Business I have long held that each person, whether he is an employee or self-employed, is like an individual business. Your career is literally your business, and you are its CEO. Just like the CEO of a large corporation, you must respond to market forces, head off competitors, take advantage of complementors and be alert to the possibility that what you are doing can be done in a different way. It is your responsibility to protect your career from harm and to position yourself to benefit from changes in the operating environment. Get in Shape for Change There are two things that will help you get through the career valley: clarity and conviction. Clarity refers to a tangible and precise view of where you’re heading with your career: knowing what you’d like your career to be as well as knowing what you’d like your career not to be. Conviction refers to your determination to get across this career valley and emerge on the other side in a position that meets the criteria you have determined.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Harden

    Andy Grove was senior manager and CEO at Intel for a very long time and was one of the architects of the spectacular rise of Intel as microprocessor powerhouse. The book was written by Andy grove in 1997, one year before he stepped down as CEO of Intel. He outlines how he dealt with what he called “inflection points” at Intel. An inflection point is in his definition a point where business changes so profoundly that either the business changes as well or the company will be killed by competitors. Andy Grove was senior manager and CEO at Intel for a very long time and was one of the architects of the spectacular rise of Intel as microprocessor powerhouse. The book was written by Andy grove in 1997, one year before he stepped down as CEO of Intel. He outlines how he dealt with what he called “inflection points” at Intel. An inflection point is in his definition a point where business changes so profoundly that either the business changes as well or the company will be killed by competitors. For Intel, this was the case when in the 1980ties, the Japanese suddenly were able to produce better and cheaper memory chips which were until then Intel’s main business. Grove managed then to shut down the memory business and concentrate the efforts on the microprocessor business which was until then only a small part of the business. His first person (CEO) perspective is very interesting to read as change doesn’t come naturally to large and succesful companies. I also found the book especially interesting because Intel is one of the famous cases for a “size moat” in Bruce Greenwald’s “Competition demystified”. Greenwald there argues that Intel’s success in microprocessors was more or less given because they had such a size advantage compared to AMD, their major competitor. Reading the book, I got the impression that Prof. Greenwald greatly simplified this. There seemed to have been several junctions on the way where Intel easily could have went “of course”, such as the rise of the RISC processors or the question at that time if multimedia will be won by PCs or TV sets. For me, one of the lessons o f the book is that Moats, at least in technology are always “weak moats” as the development is just too dynamic. The most powerful concept of the book in my opinion is the following concept from Andy Grove: If you see someone coming up with a new idea or a competing product, then you should ask yourself the question: Is this a thread to the business if this gets 10 times bigger or better or faster ? His theory (and paranoia) was that if it is a thread at 10x bigger/better/faster than the probability of this actually happening is very big and you have to do something about it. And fast… If I use this concept for instance for electrical cars, then as a traditional car manufacturer I should ask the question: What if electrical cars have 10 times better reach, 10 times more charging stations, charge 10 times quicker then now ?. Would I have a problem with this ? The answer would clearly be yes. Grove also observes that you only have a chance to survive such inflection points if you start early, so when the old stuff is still selling well. Once the company is in real trouble, then change is much much more difficult. The final chapter in the book deals with how Grove thought about the internet. One should remind that this book was written in 1997, but it is fascinating how Grove already identified industries which would be badly effected by the internet. He already was aware that for instance a lot of ad revenues would flow from print into the internet. One should not forget that this book was written a year before Google was even founded !!! Another interesting aspect was that at that time Apple was considered by Grove a failed company as they did not change their vertical business model to a “Horizontal” one. Clearly , mobile was not on his radar screen at that time. As a final observation: Without the great run up in the stock price this year, Intel’s stock would have been more or less flat against the time when Grove stepped down as CEO in 1998. So even a great company as intel might not be a great investment at any price…. Anyway, in my opinion this is a truly great book. I think both, investors and managers can profit a lot from this book. I do like “first person perspective” books a lot, especially if you can compare them against articles and theories about the same company written by other people.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Sue

    Great book covering strategic inflection points and how to recognize them and deal with them. The term means 'fundamental change' in a business. The author talks about his experience running Intel dating back t 1994 when Intel was a $10 billion+ producer of computer chips. Then they went into microprocessors. The CEO is usually the last to know of a change or problem within the company. Middle managers usually see what's coming. A 10X change is a huge change that will change the landscape. Six f Great book covering strategic inflection points and how to recognize them and deal with them. The term means 'fundamental change' in a business. The author talks about his experience running Intel dating back t 1994 when Intel was a $10 billion+ producer of computer chips. Then they went into microprocessors. The CEO is usually the last to know of a change or problem within the company. Middle managers usually see what's coming. A 10X change is a huge change that will change the landscape. Six forces determine the well-being of a business: power, vigor, and competence of existing competitors, complementors, customers, suppliers, potential competitors, and the possibility that what your business is doing can be done in a different way. The computer industry went from a vertical to horizontal industry and changed the landscape. Opportunity knocks when a tech breakthrough or other fundamental change comes your way.Grab it. Act first. Price your product for the market will bear, price for volume and work your costs so you can make money at that price. 10X change is everywhere. Mega competition-eg Walmart. Try specialization. Examples here range from Next (Apple), Pixar, shipping containers. Millennials are the new customers. Suppliers-recall travel agents? Regulations always mess things up to0-FDA, ATT breakup. Chapter 5 covers Intel history. From memory chips, to dealing with Japanese competition, to semiconductors, to microprocessors. Outsiders have intellectual objectivity, no emotional attachement to the past. It took about 3 years to go through the whole strategic inflection point. Ask these questions: Is your key competitor about to change? Is your key complementor about to change? Do people seem to be losing it around you? Mid management is very helpful. Debate the issue, argue with the data, you might have to go with observations and instinct. Fear is the opposite of being complacent-use it to motivate your troops. You need clarity of direction. Try to see the company when it gets to the other side. Seeing, imagining, and sensing the new shape of things is the first step. Lead with strategic actions-steps you've already taken or are taking which suggest the longer term intent vs. plans. These are statements of what you intend to do. You need a clean and simple strategic direction-put your eggs in one basket and watch it! Commit, don't stand still. Chapter 9 on the Internet is outdated of course and the author could only have imagined where we'd be now 25 years later. It's an interesting flashback! In 1998 the author gave up his spot at CEO. Funny thing is that he attended the same college as my folks and was there at the same time. Very small world indeed! He left a great legacy there and did much for the computer industry.

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