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on August 10, 2017
Love this book. Andrew Grove's solutions to significant problems while leading Intel through rough waters are presented along with his perception of challenges within other companies and industries. Published in 1996 the Internet chapter will bring back memories for many who were involved with IT in the 1990s. One of the many highlights is Grove's description of Strategic Inflection Points. As Andrew Grove wrote in the Preface pg 5: "In short, strategic inflection points are about fundamental change in any business, technological or not". A must read for all business owners and managers; and everyone in a leadership position.
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on October 19, 2014
The principles that Andy Grove outlines are still extremely valid. Unfortunately today many business leaders try to maintain the Status Quo, especially when things are going well, they stop innovating and then watch their companies wither and die. Smart leaders know that every product has to survive on it's own merits and often your own "Children make the best meal". Grove shows what it takes to manage through and inflection point and outlines the kind of leadership that is required to make these transitions successful.
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on June 3, 2015
This is a must-read book. I've read it at least five times and enjoy it for different reasons each time. I've probably given 20+ books as gifts to staff and colleagues over the years. It has been enjoyed and appreciated by each one of them. My copy is precious - highlighting, underlining, and notes in the margins. Favorite line: Your career is your business and you are its CEO.
The two main points:
(1) Inflection Points - Every business goes through them. Some are cognizant that they are occurring and can respond appropriately.
(2) 10X Factor - This is especially true in disruptive innovations, start-ups, going-out-of-business, and economic recessions.
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on April 27, 2013
Below are excerpts from the book that summarize the key points presented by the author:

1- "Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your business and then another chunk and then another until there is nothing left. I believe that the prime responsibility of a manager is to guard constantly against other people's attacks and to inculcate this guardian attitude in the people under his or her management."

2- "We all need to expose ourselves to the winds of change. We need to expose ourselves to our customers, both the ones who are staying with us as well as those that we may lose by sticking to the past. We need to expose ourselves to lower-level employees, who, when encouraged, will tell us a lot that we need to know. We must invite comments even from people whose job it is to constantly evaluate us and critique us, such as journalist and members of the financial community. Turn the tables and ask them some questions: about competitors, trends in the industry and what they think we should be most concerned with. As we throw ourselves into raw action, our senses and instincts will rapidly be honed again."

3- "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. It is a point where the curve has subtly but profoundly changed, never to change back again."

4- "Of all the changes in the forces of competition, the most difficult one to deal with is when one of the forces become so strong that it transforms the very essence of how business is conducted in an industry."

5- "When an industry goes through a strategic inflection point, the practitioners of the old art may have trouble. On the other hand, the new landscape provides an opportunity for people, some of whom may not even be participants in the industry in question, to join and become part of the action."

6- "When a strategic infection point sweeps through the industry, the more successful a participant was in the old industry structure, the more threatened it is by change and the more reluctant it is to adapt to it. Second, whereas the cost to enter a given industry in the face of well-entrenched participants can be very high, when the structure breaks, the cost to enter may become trivially small."

7- "I suspect that the people coming in are probably no better managers or leaders than the people they are replacing. they have only one advantage...the new managers come unencumbered by such emotional involvement and therefore are capable of applying an impersonal logic to the situation."

8- "As these questions to attempt to distinguish signal from noise: 1) Is your key competitor about to change? 2) Is your key complementor about to change? 3) Do people seem to be "losing it" around you?"

9- "I call the divergence between actions and statements strategic dissonance. It is one of the surest indications that a company is struggling with a strategic inflection point."

10- "Ideally, the fear of a new environment sneaking up on us should keep us on our toes. Our sense of urgency should be aided by our judgement, instincts and observations that have been honed by decades spent in the business world. The fact is, because of our experience, very often we managers know that we need to do something. We even know what we should be doing. But we don't trust our instincts or don't act on them early enough to take advantage of the benign business bubble. We must discipline ourselves to overcome our tendency to do too little too late."
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on October 14, 2017
First time reading it. 90% very valuable even today. The only irrelevant (if charming) section was the explanation of how the internet works. :)
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on August 6, 2017
Great book. Great insight from a leading (past) figure of the computer technology industry with lessons that are still applicable.
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on October 1, 2017
As great of a leader as Andy was, I feel his greatest contribution is his generous, wise and down to earth teachings. This book along with high output management should be required reading for all leaders and aspirational leaders regardless of field or circumstance. Thank you Andy.
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on May 25, 2016
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 mentioned in the paper and the title appealed to me. The story is more than how Intel transformed itself from a memory chip company to one focused on microprocessors but also talks about the challenges of recognizing and responding to change at all levels of an organization. Well worth reading.
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on April 24, 2017
I'm in technology, and there where 3 times in my career where Strategic Inflection Points significantly negatively affected my career, and 2 times where it has positively done so. I wish I read this book 15 years ago !!!
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on March 22, 2016
Can't say enough about how this tackles difficult questions without offering platitudes. With inflection points coming faster and faster, Grove offers a solid framework for seeing them and prospering from them. But only for those with self motivation and ability to take on the big picture challenges.
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