“Only The Paranoid Survive”: Thoughts on the Andy Grove bestseller

Andy used to teach a strategic management class at Stanford GSB  while working as Intel’s CEO, so this book stemmed from both his experiences running Intel and his reflections on those experiences while teaching.

  • Only the paranoid survive is a phrase attributed to Andy in the valley. He strongly believes in the value of paranoia when it comes to business since business success sows the seeds of its own destruction.
  • The book focuses on strategic inflection points, times in the lifetime of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. These bring full-scale changes in the way a business is conducted, so merely adopting new technology or changing a few processes here or there don’t count.
  • A classic example of a strategic inflection point is when Intel went from being a memory technology company to a microprocessor company. This was an inflection point for Intel that later caused inflection points for many others – such as the mainframe industry, with PCs becoming ubiquitous.

Read More »