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Only The Paranoid Survive [Paperback]

Andrew Grove
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 April 1998
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 the Fortune 500. Few CEOs can claim this level of success. Grove attributes much of it to the philosophy and strategy he has learned the hard way as he steered Intel through a series of potential major disasters. There are moments in any business when massive change occurs, when all the rules of business shift fast, furiously and forever. Grove calls such moments strategic inflection points (SIPs), and he has lived through several. They can be set off by almost anything - by mega competition, an arcane change in regulations, or by a seemingly modest change in technology. They are not always easy to spot - but you can't hide from them. Intel's first SIP was when the Japanese started producing better-quality, lower-cost memory chips. It took Grove three years and huge losses to recognize that he had to rethink and reposition the company to become, once again, leader in its field.Grove extrapolates the lessons he has learned from this and other SIPs - for instance the drama of the Pentium flaw, and the SIP brought on by the Internet - to reveal a unique insight into the management of change. He recounts strategies from other companies and examines his own record of success and failure. Only the Paranoid Survive is a classic lesson in leadership skills that every manager in every industry will benefit from. Every manager must assume that something will change - very soon.

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Only The Paranoid Survive + High-Output Management (Vintage) + Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; New Ed edition (6 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861975139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861975133
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Only the Paranoid Survive is about recognizing, overcoming and even profiting from the inevitable groundshifts in commercial life that, by changing the fundamentals of the business environment, shake established enterprises to the core and raise newcomers to power and wealth. Grove takes this simple--if unarguably true--idea and brings it alive with a wealth of examples, shrewd understanding of corporate dynamics, and unblinking realism about why businesses succeed or fail. Many of his war stories are based on Intel's own missteps, including the famous Pentium floating-point fiasco. He also spends a lot of time talking sense about corporate cultures, how they react under extreme stress, and the factors that enable one to survive while dooming another to die. Only the Paranoid Survive is a mirror in which everyone in the computer industry should view the company they work for, and the course of their own career. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


" Probably the best book on business written by a business person sinceAlfred Sloan's My Years with General Motors." --Forbes " This terrific book is dangerous...It will make people think." --Peter Drucker " 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

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Complacency is one of the biggest enemies of any organization, but especially for successful ones like Intel. ONLY THE PARANOID SURVIVE provides two powerful observations that will help anyone who reads this book: (1) That changes are lurking out there that need immediate attention inside your organization and (2) That you must be constantly vigilant for large discontinuous changes (such as those driven by microprocessors, Intel's main product). Having the perspective of someone who has been both the beneficiary and the target of discontinuous change, Dr. Grove's lessons become all the more real. At first, I thought this book was a little overdone; but upon reflection, I feel that complacency is probably best overcome by paranoia in the absence of the management process to locate, anticipate, create and adapt to externally-driven discontinuous changes. We cite this book in our own book about how to be more successful, because we believe it is an important work. Please read this book, and take its lessons seriously. But have fun while you are being paranoid!
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2.0 out of 5 stars A bit slow & boring 31 Jan 2013
By bl
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a good read but sounds a bit cliche (that could only be me though). It does have a good message around which the book is written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great advice for an uncertain age 22 Aug 2011
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Intel was one of the pioneers of Silicon Valley, one of a handful of household brand name companies that helped to create, and constantly reshape, the information technology landscape in the US, and the rest of the high-tech world. Andrew Grove was at the center of this company from its inception, and this is his story in his own words.

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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Common sense that is not so common 31 May 2011
I loved this book as it was very down to earth. Grove carefully identified some very fundamental issues and behaviours that - I think - more or less everybody could understand.

He then teaches how these issues can be recognised and how they should be tackled if you want to benefit from the situation. I very much doubt that this book covers even the first half of what Grove is doing or thinking, so I was a little disappointed by the absence of rocket-science.

The one big questions I had though was why more people didn't already know and do all this basic common sense?

I guess that is the one of the secrets to success - it is not enough to understand best practice, it is required to practice and repeat best practice.

Jan Bennett
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for corporate leaders 5 Aug 2009
The central theme of the book is what Andy Grove calls a 'Strategic Inflection Point (SIP)'. It is a turning point in a company's life from where the company can go north or south depending on whether it recognises the arrival of such a point and how it prepares itself to deal with it. The theme is based on Intel's own experience of dealing with a Strategic Inflection Point when they decided to get out of the memory business. The last chapter on the Internet is outdated for today's reader but the rest of the book is a good eye opener for all corporate leaders. Not a revelation but a good read!
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