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Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company Paperback – March 16, 1999
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Alfred Sloan's My Years with General Motors."
"This terrific book is dangerous...It will make people think."
"This book is about one super-important concept. You must learn about Strategic Inflection Points, because sooner or later you are going to live through one."
--Steve Jobs, CEO, Pixar Animation Studios
"Andy explains--with modesty that cannot conceal his brilliance, how he has led Intel through changes and challenges that many companies could not cope with...The country will benefit from his vision."
--Reed Hundt, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
From the Inside Flap
Grove calls such a moment a Strategic Inflection Point, which can be set off by almost anything: mega-competition, a change in regulations, or a seemingly modest change in technology. When a Strategic Inflection Point hits, the ordinary rules of business go out the window. Yet, managed right, a Strategic Inflection Point can be an opportunity to win in the marketplace and emerge stronger than ever.
Grove underscores his message by examining his own record of success and failure, including how he navigated the events of the Pentium flaw, which threatened Intel's reputation in 1994, and how he has dealt with the explo
- Publisher : Currency; 1st Edition (March 16, 1999)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385483821
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385483827
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.52 x 0.64 x 8.24 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #32,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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“Only the Paranoid Survive” was published in 1996 during Andy Grove’s tenure as CEO of Intel. At the time Intel was reaping the benefits of their strategic shift from memory chips to microprocessors. Mr. Grove describes the challenges that Intel faced when it became apparent to him that the profitability and viability of their core memory chip business was threatened by lower cost competitors. The situation exemplified what Mr. Grove terms a “strategic inflection point”, when a fundamental change in the business environment forces a company to make substantial changes to survive. Mr. Grove uses his experience navigating the transformation from memory chips to microprocessors to illustrate the multifaceted challenges posed by strategic inflection points. Further he explains how to mobilize an organization and lead through the uncertainty (referred to as “the valley of death”) to achieve transformation.
Chapter 9 discusses the growth of the Internet and considers if the Internet will pose a strategic inflection point for Intel’s business. Mr. Grove anticipated the potential for the Internet to transform the media and telecommunications industries, and the opportunities that the Internet would create for Intel’s business (for example the need for more powerful microprocessors to enable PCs to replace televisions).
The last Chapter was written in 1999 after Mr. Grove stepped down from his CEO role. This chapter applies the strategic inflection point concept to career management, asserting that the reader is the CEO of their career, and urging vigilance and preparedness to effectively respond to changes in the business environment that could threaten their career. This chapter resonated with my own experience working in technology-based industries for the past 30 years.
Mr. Grove’s clear and candid writing style makes this book an enjoyable and enlightening read. His ability to analyze a problem holistically and draw on diverse perspectives from across his organization is well demonstrated. The need for clear messaging and decisive action is also emphasized.
I found “Only the Paranoid Survive” to be an engaging and informative read, still relevant twenty-five years after publication.
I also love how the story isn't one of those "Look at this successful person this is what it's like to be successful don't you want to be successful too" books. I actually read and understood the struggles that Grove faced while working at Intel. It's easy to look at Intel and think that they've been there forever and that they are now predestined to succeed. In reality, Grove's life was no walk in the park. In fact, it was much more like Dark Souls.
Worth every penny you spend buying it and worth every minute you spend reading it. 5 stars.
The principles that Groves propounds here remain relevant and sound nearly twenty years later. Indeed, his description of how companies can and should respond to strategic inflection points is perhaps even more relevant in era where the pace of technological change has accelerated. Consider the changes that Intel has undergone in the eighteen intervening years as the world and scope of computing has vastly expanded and consumer needs and expectations have been transformed. Companies in the modern era may be required to reinvent themselves every few years, not once in an epoch.
Given this, I strongly recommend this book. It provides sound leadership advice without lurching into nonsensical exhortations and paeans to positivity.
Top reviews from other countries
I also particularly enjoyed the section on changing direction and how to manage people when the mission of the company changes.