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Only the Paranoid Survive. Lessons from the CEO of INTEL Corporation

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  6,743 ratings  ·  280 reviews
The President and CEO of Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, reveals how to identify and exploit the key moments of change in any industry that generates either drastic failure or incredible success. Under Andrew Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest computer chipmaker, the 5th most admired company in America, and the 7th most profitable company among ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 6th 1998 by Profile Business (first published April 1st 1988)
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Saurabh Hooda
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I picked this book because it was referred by Ben Horowitz ( Other reason being the book's interesting title which somehow conveyed to me that it must be a book about how Andy Grove was paranoid (in good sense) enough to make Intel an Awesome company.

But as soon as started the book I become disappointed because it's not the book I thought it to be. Its not about Andy Grove being tough CEO or his paranoid decisions. It's is just like any other common busi
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
The strategies and decisions, and luck, Intel embraced are remarkable and to cover them all in detail in a short book would have been impossible. The fundamental essence of this book is that the only constant we can expect in business is CHANGE. How do we anticipate it? How do we prepare for that point where we either change or die? The ones we sometimes see coming and the ones we don’t. That Inflection Point. Can we recognise or anticipate change or do we create processes that enabl
George Jankovic
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Today Andy Grove died at the age of 79.

His book "Only the Paranoid Survive" talks about his key business philosophy. One should always be on the lookout for new trends or products that might displace or destroy yours. Under him, Intel was famous for cannibilizing their older chips, their cash cows, with the new ones. The competition just couldn't follow their relentless pace.

I recommend the book to everyone in management or business whether in high-tech or not.
Jan 28, 2011 added it
Shelves: business
Only The Paranoid Survive

Key Quotes:
"The replacement of corporate heads is far more motivated by the need to bring in someone who is not invested in the past than to get somebody who is a better leader or better manager in other ways."
---Andy Grove, Only the Paranoid Survive (p127)

Strategic change doesn't just start at the top, it starts with your calendar. ---(p146)

"Put all of your eggs in one basket, then WATCH THAT BASKET"
--- Mark Twain

Ask yourself:
'Will going to this meeting teach me about t
Peter Tillman
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Andy Grove, then CEO of Intel Corp, is clearly worth listening to on the subject of management. The "Wintel" success story is well known. More harrowing was Intel's earlier self-transformation from making memory chips to making microprocessors.

How to steer an enterprise thru a major change in its business, per Mr. Grove:
1) Figure out if a major change is imminent. If so, you're about to enter what Grove calls "the valley of death".
2) Figure out how to deal with it. Largely (for CEOs), this invo
Jaak Ennuste
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the business books category, this one ranks high. Grove asks a fundamental question - how do companies die or survive a strategic inflection point? Translation: how do they survive when a "10x" change hits their business and there are only two trajectories: exponential growth or rapid decline to zero.

There are never clear answers to any such questions. But there are processes. One must constantly ask whether changes that are happening are "10x changes" or standard business procedure. Is it n
Nov 20, 2010 rated it liked it
This book discusses some really important ideas, primarily the "10x forces" that fundamentally change businesses and the "strategic inflection points" during which an industry is transformed by these "10x forces" (yes, he quotes that term everywhere it appears in the book). Grove explores these ideas using his experience as CEO during Intel's switch from making memories to making microprocessors in the late 80's as the primary example, but he emphasizes that these ideas are not unique to the tec ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography, business
2.5/5 (I was thinking to give it 2.2. But since the book dates back at 1998 & I see some of Grove's prediction has come true by this time, I think 2.5 is enough)
My favorite moment from the book is when Gordon Moore & Grove decides to get rid of the memory business at Intel in the face of an inflection point by Japanese manufacturers. This reminds me, most often we hold the key to put a stop to our misery but we barely notice that. I appreciate Grove's approach to introduce various inflection poi
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had heard so much about this book being a classic, and I finally read it.
Whats lovely is that it was written in 1996, and he lays out the principles of how to prepare for, deal with and manage change - especially when it comes to a change in how the business works...
When industries/ structures/ networks change - it can ruin organisations or catapult them to dominant positions. It is also a signal to either scale up in that direction or retreat completely out of the current one.

It's also a bril
Lech Kaniuk
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A absolute must read for every serious entrepreneur. I wish to become as good leader and entrepreneur as he was.

This book does not only touch a very interesting topic that mean life or death for enterprises, but adding the fact that the book was written in the nineties - it's very interesting to see a world class CEOs view on the potential changes Internet will bring - from our perspective in the year 2016.

Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly readable book about what it's like to be at a company at the moment when it has to either change the way it operates or go into a decline.

That said, I wish I were not the kind of person who now reads business books for fun.
Bartosz Majewski
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I've written about it here:

Shortly speaking i liked it a lot. It's not as great as Grove's previous work - high output management.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great read on one of the best companies built in the 20th century. Every person in technology should read this book and see how it is difficult to create great companies
Zhou Fang
This is a quick read, although I can't say it's all that useful. Grove starts with Porter's Five Forces as a framework for business analysis, and then considers situations in which one of the forces increases by tenfold. The principles he outlays for such a situation are described as such:

"One, don’t differentiate without a difference. Don’t introduce improvements whose only purpose is to give you an advantage over your competitor without giving your customer a substantial advantage.

Two, in this
Murugan Manoj
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brilliantly written.
While the businesses of the day talk about real-time data crunching, lead and lag indicators in depth.
Here's a leader's guide to mending your business instincts, picking up patterns that even the most meticulously collated data might fail to capture.

Right from the horse's mouth, the legendary CEO narrates several "been there done that" experiences from the decades that define the birth of modern computers. Connecting with the pure genius of Drucker and Porter this book is jus
Alexander Rivas
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
For being a book that is over 30 years old I thoroughly enjoyed the wisdom of this author. His theory of "inflection points" and how to navigate them or know you are in one is amazing. Plus, he uses the term "10X" a lot in this book and I wonder if he was the original person to coin the term. I know Grant Cardone, another great author, uses it more than anyone else and even wrote a book with the "10X" in the title. I can see why Intel is still a powerful company on this planet and this author wa ...more
Yu Hao
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Disappointing read. Was a rather short book that can be finished over a weekend. Puts forth a few neat-sounding concepts (i.e. x10 force, inflection point) that in fact, do not offer much insights. Anecdotes offered are also often superficial. This was exacerbated by the fact that Grove is a management legend and as readers, we expect a lot more from someone with his track record.
Preston Williams
Nov 13, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I understand why CEOs around Silicon Valley look to Andy Grove's books for inspiration. Written in 1996 (20 years ago!) his thesis still feels very relevant and I learned a great deal from his examples from running Intel that are helping me to be a more productive & thoughtful employee in small scrappy startups. I read High Output Management before, and had a harder time relating his examples to my work in small unstructured startups - but I was able to glide through this quickly.

The big key tak
Boni Aditya
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
A good book, but quite outdated - though he talks about how to identify 10X trends, or things that have the ability to drive your business into the ground or take you into the skies if you are able to follow the trend and lead it.

The advice is sound but the framework developed to recognize the trends or how to act on it isn't as concrete. I wasn't impressed with the solutions offered. They are generic solutions, i.e. get middle management involved in the decision making process, take care of the
Tadas Talaikis
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heard about this book very long ago. I believe like it says - only the paranoid survive. And what's related to business, I'm probably paranoid. Wasn't, but learned.

"Possibility that what your business does can be done in a different way." is great thing. If you can't stop over-competitiveness created by over-population, then what you can do, adapt, find new ways.

It's interesting to read about technology 20+ years ago: "What is internet anyway?"

What is microprocessor anyway? Race with time withou
Khalid Almoghrabi
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Andy is a shrewd leader who took Intel company from a fail to become a success story all over the world. besides chronological events he shows how a company sooner or later will suffer in a turmoil and only the paranoid and surfing against the waves, inflection points, would help out.
This book is a strategy-focused and would benefit any person with needed leadership skills.
Ami Iida
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ict
It is the best one book to decipher the history of Intel.

  This is the autobiography of founder.

This book's theme is twofold.
One is the innovation of micro Professor.

And one is a strategy to sell it.
This book focuses on the latter.

This is a great book to decipher the strategy.
Of course Moore's Law in the semiconductor has also been described.
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This book had some decent concepts. I thought the addition of a 6th (Complementary) force to the traditional Porter's Fiver Forces was very apt and insightful. The book is dated; however, so there is no need to read through fully cover to cover. I think the question, "Is the internet that big a deal? Or is it an overhyped fad?" has been fully put to bed...
Nov 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: business-schools' students
Shelves: business
An excelent book! It helped me a lot in writing an essay about Intel Corporation and, to my surprise, give some practical advice for future career. This book was better that I'd expected!
Vikrant Varma
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Inflection points create threats and opportunities - Intel’s CEO explains how the company survived the memory upheaval, and explains some important practical lessons along the way.
Luís Ferreira
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book about disruption, and how companies should be prepared for Strategic inflection points, and drastically adapt while navigating uncertainty.

The interesting example used throughout the book is from Intel, where they changed their business core from DRAM to microprocessors after increased competition from Japanese semiconductor manufacturers who, by 1983, crushed Intel in their previously dominant position in the memory market.

My notes:
“10X” Force: When a change in how some element of one’s b
Michael Harden
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Andy Grove was senior manager and CEO at Intel for a very long time and was one of the architects of the spectacular rise of Intel as microprocessor powerhouse. The book was written by Andy grove in 1997, one year before he stepped down as CEO of Intel.

He outlines how he dealt with what he called “inflection points” at Intel. An inflection point is in his definition a point where business changes so profoundly that either the business changes as well or the company will be killed by competitors.
Rhonda Sue
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book covering strategic inflection points and how to recognize them and deal with them. The term means 'fundamental change' in a business. The author talks about his experience running Intel dating back t 1994 when Intel was a $10 billion+ producer of computer chips. Then they went into microprocessors. The CEO is usually the last to know of a change or problem within the company. Middle managers usually see what's coming.

A 10X change is a huge change that will change the landscape. Six f
Jul 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
1. It is not a good idea for a company to keep secrets.
2. Maintain open communication with journalists/outsiders.
3. It is always a bad idea to trust the opinion of someone emotionally attached to the company.
4. Strategic Inflection Point (SIP) is needed to reevaluate whole company strategy.
5. There are 6 different forces that can cause SIP:
- Competitors
- Suppliers
- Existing customers
- Potential customers
- Complementers
- Possibility that your business can be done in a different way (most c
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Andrew Stephen ("Andy") Grove (born 2 September 1936), is a Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, and author. He is a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the United States where he finished his education. He later became CEO of Intel Corporation and helped transform the company into the world's largest m ...more

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