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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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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
If you haven't read this book, now is as good a time to do so as any. Today's readers have the benefit of knowing how technology and business have evolved since "Only the Paranoid Survive" was published in 1996. The seven years that have since elapsed reveal that Grove really knows what he's talking about. His understanding of how the Internet would affect Intel underscores his management prescience. And his skepticism regarding gee-whiz technological innovations like "Internet appliances" provides an interesting example of how Intel maintained its strategic focus, and emerged from the bubble as strong as ever.
"Only the Paranoid Survive" breaks no new ground in the business-management genre. But the book is well written, well organized, and well worth the read for those who want a glimpse inside the mind of an incomparable American success story.
The information-economy industry, unlike the giant manufacturers such as GM that faced more stable markets, was singularly brutal and fast-changing. Roughly every eighteen months, newly minted microprocessor chips arrived with double the circuit density of the preceding generation, increasing both their capacity and speed. For decades, Intel had been an exemplar of success, assessed in 1998 as the third most valuable company in the world by market capitalization. Known for their loyalty and hard work, virtually all Intel employees shared in the ownership of the company via stock options.
Nonetheless, the company's success was constantly portrayed internally as tenuous and hard-won: in the mid-1980s, facing ferocious Japanese competition in the memory chip market segment, Intel re-engineered itself, focusing instead on the emerging microprocessor market segment. This is the core of Grove's book, and is a remarkable achievement - I vividly still recall how, in the late 1980s, we thought Japan was going to take over the PC industry - and it was Grove and his team that did it.
To do so, Grove engineered Intel's corporate culture so that it melded "control-freak management" with creative chaos: anyone could compete in an open, yet authoritarian "culture of innovation.Read more ›
The main concept of this book is on strategic inflection point, which is a time in the life of the business when its fundamentals are about to change. This change can either infer an opportunity to rise to new heights or signal the beginning of the end. Hence, this book is about the impact of changing rules, guidelines to assist in identifying those situations and about finding your way through those uncharted territories. This book serves to raise our awareness of going through cataclysmic changes and to provide a framework in which to deal with them.
This book uses Porter's competitive analysis strategy in terms of the 6 forces as a base. The 6 forces are
1. Power, vigor and competence of existing competitors
2. Power, vigor and competence of complementors
3. Power, vigor and competence of customers
4. Power, vigor and competence of suppliers
5. Power, vigor and competence of potential competitors
6. Power, vigor and competence of substitutes
Once a very large change happens in one or several of these 6 forces, a "10X" force is in effect. Very often the transition from a normal business environment to that of a "10X" business environment is very gradual and thus, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time in which the "10X" force came about.Read more ›
The first ~70% of this book is the story of Intel's shift from the memory business to microprocessors when they realized they couldn't keep up with Japanese competition. Lessons gleaned from this experience are that when confronted with big change (what Grove calls a 10X force, for example a big competitor like the Japanese arising, the Walmart business model, the advent of the internet) you have to try to identify if you are in a strategic inflection point (by listening to prophets he calls Cassandras and those in the periphery who are more in touch with the world such as sales people) and react appropriately (by changing your product, your business model, your consumer, etc). Grove does not give a fool proof way of identifying if you are actually facing a strategic inflection point but he does outline some general, practical, common sense guidelines about how to think through these issues for your business. It's interesting to read his analysis on the impact of the internet for Intel (this book was written in the late 90s).
He also coaches you through the psychology of addressing change. Because most people look back and wish they'd made a change earlier, he emphasizes conviction and clarity. He advises us to change when we're doing well in our current state because then we have the momentum to successfully handle the inflection point when it arrives.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This one keeps getting mentioned as one of the classics, but I didn't get much from it. May have to re-read it.Published 14 days ago by Publius
Must read! Incredible book and prescient looking back on how Andy predicted much of what we live with today.Published 1 month ago by Mr. Twain J
Just half is fine, it just goes on in the same way after that. It's anecdotal and very specific to Intel, but has some interesting insight.Published 2 months ago by Mrs. R.
At first I was slightly disappointed by this book. I bought it without reading the description and was expecting more of a general history of Intel. But then I kept reading. Read morePublished 2 months ago by A. T. Yoshida
I have long been an admirer of Andy Grove and Intel and greatly enjoyed this book. I tried to remember back about how I selected it to read and suspect that it was recently... Read morePublished 3 months ago by G. C. Carter
There is a reason this is a best seller. It needs to be read and then seen on every smart entrepreneur’s book shelf.Published 3 months ago by Erin Leigh Darnley
The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your business, then another, etc., until there is nothing left. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Loyd Eskildson