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The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World's Most Important Company Hardcover – July 15, 2014


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The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World's Most Important Company + The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution + Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (July 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062226762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062226761
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The modern semiconductor industry grew out of a faction of dissenting employees of Fairchild Semiconductor often called the Traitorous Eight, who left to form Intel Inc. a risky start-up that was transformed into the most successful technology company of the computer age through the invention of the “computer on a chip” we know as the microprocessor. The story revolves around the three men who founded and led Intel throughout its first four decades—Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove, whose canny leadership, impeccable timing, and masterful marketing skills turned a small company with a very unsure future into a global giant. The time line is a familiar one to many technology buffs, but Malone moves past the standard Intel mythology to uncover many aspects of the company’s ascendance that have been glossed over or lost to history. Federico Faggin, an Italian American physicist who led the design group of the first commercial microprocessor, is profiled as one of the “greatest inventors of the century,” one example of how Malone gives long-­overdue credit to the unsung heroes and inventors for their contributions. --David Siegfried

Review

“Through extensive and unprecedented access to Intel’s archives, Malone describes how each of these vital members of Intel brought various skills and talents to the company to make it the giant it is today.” (--Entrepreneur's 25 Amazing Business Books from 2014)

“This is business history at its best.” (Wall Street Journal)

“What’s been missing is an authoritative work that blends all the key people and the technology with a thorough, up-to-date business history. “The Intel Trinity” fills that gap.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“What he has produced is popular history, the tale of an epoch-defining industrial romp and the three men who led it.” (Washington Post)

“”The Intel Trinity” is a fine introduction to the founding myths legends of Silicon Valley.” (Salon)

Richly detailed, swiftly moving work of modern business history, recounting a truly world-changing technology and the people who made it possible. Essential for aspiring entrepreneurs, to say nothing of those looking for a view of how the modern, speed-of-light world came to be. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Michael Malone, one of the most interesting chroniclers of Silicon Valley, has produced a fascinating history of Intel. It’s a valuable study of innovation, great leadership, and colorful personalities. Anyone who wants to know how creativity leads to invention should read this wonderful book.” (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs)

“Few people capture the rhythms and values that fuel Silicon Valley as well as longtime journalist Michael S. Malone. In his latest book, he takes on the history of Intel, a company he started covering when most reporters were still using typewriters. He reveals his deep knowledge on every page.” (Reid Hoffman, cofounder & chairman of LinkedIn and co-author of The Alliance)

“Mike Malone’s book on Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andy Grove - Silicon Valley’s Mount Rushmore - belongs with Walter Isaacson’s treatment of Steve Jobs, Neal Gabler’s opus on Walt Disney, and Tom Wolfe’s look at the first astronauts. Trinity is that big and that good.” (Rich Karlgaard, Publisher and Columnist, Forbes Magazine, Author of The Soft Edge)

Malone moves past the standard Intel mythology to uncover many aspects of the company’s ascendance that have been glossed over or lost to history. Malone gives long-overdue credit to the unsung heroes and inventors for their contributions. (Booklist)

Customer Reviews

Malone is Silicon Valley's best writer.
Amazon Customer
I have no personal knowledge of the key individuals, but can’t help suspecting that they have been a little bit stereotyped.
John Gibbs
It is, however, a great read -- which is what you want from a good book!
S. Witten

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was an executive at Intel from 1984-1999 (Corp. Vice President) and had the honor of knowing Noyce, Moore and Grove. I found the book odd. It was very superficial about so many things and then would go in depth on other things. The section on Andy's early life was overly detailed while there was not enough about Gordon. Frankly, the book feels lazy to me. It felt like Malone just wrote up thing he could easily find. He was suppose to have access to Intel's archives for whatever that is worth. We were thought not to keep much because of legal issues. There were also a number of factual errors.
I did benefit from learning more about the early years at Fairchild.
Hated the title by the way. It is worth reading this book as long as you realize that it is just a piece of the story of these three amazing men and even less a history of Intel.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Harold Kellman on August 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a "must have" book for anyone who wants to know about the early history of integrated circuits, the microprocessor, and Silicon Valley. The Valley of Heart's Delight, as it was known before Don Hoefler's 1971 naming, was and is truly an amazing place with remarkable individuals. As a young electrical engineer, I first came out to Palo Alto because there were two minicomputer companies with headquarters within two miles of each other -- Varian Associates and Hewlett-Packard. HP had just gotten into the minicomputer business in 1967 and was eager to sell its new machines. They gave my upstart Ann Arbor-based company $100,000 worth of equipment and 60 days credit terms to pay for it. Our company had a net worth of $3,000 and I was 25 years old. HP had the true Silicon Valley start-up spirit.

The next time I came to the Bay Area was when I read the Electronic News two page advertisement for the 4004 chip on November 15, 1971, "Announcing a new era of integrated electronics -- a micro-programmable computer on a chip." Few believed. None of the 80 or so minicomputer companies, led by Digital Equipment and Data General, took it seriously. Luckily I did and moved here.
Mike Malone perfectly captures this whole era in Part II: Start-Up (1968-1971) and Part III: The Spirit of the Age (1972-1987).

Mike Malone explains the three different personalities of the founders. When you call Andy Grove "paranoid" he certainly was.
Andy believed spies were everywhere. When I went to an analyst meeting and arrived early, I went to the bathroom with my briefcase. A secretary quickly followed me into the bathroom and told me I had to check the briefcase before being allowed into the analyst meeting.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Intel’s greatest strength has been its willingness to take huge risks, even betting the company, according to Michael Malone in this book. On the occasions when those bets have failed, the company has clawed its way back into the game through superhuman effort and will,... and then immediately gone on to take yet more risks.

The story starts in September 1957 when the “Traitorous Eight” employees of Shockley Transistor left to form their own company, which became Fairchild Semiconductor. When Fairchild started falling apart a decade later, two of its key scientists and leaders, Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore, decided to start a new business, and Andy Grove joined them as their first employee at Intel. The book goes on to describe Intel’s ups and downs over the ensuing 45 years.

Gordon Moore had first observed in 1965 that the complexity of integrated circuits was doubling every year, and in the 1970s the doubling of computer chip performance every two years became known as Moore’s Law. Intel Corporation, as the keeper of Moore’s Law, proceeded over the next several decades to innovate at the required rate, using a combination of science and business cunning to stay ahead of its competitors.

It is a well-crafted story, although perhaps a bit longer than necessary. Intel seems to have “come roaring out” or “come roaring back” after downturns quite a few times, and the traits of some characters get repeated a bit. I have no personal knowledge of the key individuals, but can’t help suspecting that they have been a little bit stereotyped. For example, I suspect that Andy Grove’s attitude towards Bob Noyce was more nuanced than the animosity portrayed by the author.

Notwithstanding these minor issues, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on July 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Silicon Valley 'began' on a September, 1957 day when 8 key employees ('The Traitorous Eight') of Shockley Transistor decided to quit their jobs. The 'last straw' had been Shockley's ongoing lie-detector program. Among the group - Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore, of later Intel fame. The group formed Fairchild Semiconductor. Their reason for leaving - Shockley had repeatedly demonstrated himself to be a terrible boss - paranoid, contemptuous of subordinates, and arrogant, as well as having no ability to run a business. The oldest of those leaving was 29. Fairchild Camera and Instrument invested $1.5 million to fund the new group, and retained ownership.

Bob Noyce saw two immediate needs: 1)Quickly getting a product to market, and 2)developing a new low-cost manufacturing method - else they would be swamped by far bigger firms with scale economies. Within three months the new group had a prototype and got IBM to buy 100 @ $150 each for use in its XB-70 avionics contract. Fairchild/Noyce committed to using silicon instead of the then standard geranium (brittle), and was able to deliver ahead of schedule five months later.

En route, one of the group invented photolithography (draw and photograph the design in a large format, reduce that image to a tiny transparency, use U.V - later laser light to expose the substrate and then etch away unexposed areas and dose them with impurities. Noyce himself then linked multiple transistors onto a single silicon slice, forming the first integrated circuit. Fairchild was now atop the industry and in less than a decade had 12,000 employees.

Competitors, however, did not stand still - Motorola was challenging with significant innovations of its own.
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