Avram's Past / Intel / Uncategorized

Intel starts to be irrelevant?


Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 5.11.41 PMMy buddy, Robert X. Cringely predicts that Intel will start to be irrelevant. I predicted that in 1999 when I walked out of the door in 1999. It started a few years earlier when Andy Grove stepped aside as CEO and appointed Craig Barrett CEO. I didn’t think that Barrett had a strategic bone in his body. But it was good news for me. I sold my Intel stock in the 70s a year later. As a Corp. Officer, I could have had difficulty dumping all my shares.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 5.25.45 PM

I was not happy to see Intel without a strategy for the future. The company had been really good to me. Once Paul Otellini took over as CEO (we had been friends), I offered my help in developing a strategy for the mobile space. I had a few meetings and then made my recommendations which were rejected. One of them was that the company acquire a few early stage companies not for their technology but their talent. Later, when the current CEO (who I never meet in the 15 years we were both at Intel….he worked in manufacturing), took over, I offered to help develop work with the CEO and the President on a strategy for the future. I spent a great deal of time thinking about what Intel could do and then offered it to them. They may or may not have read what I wrote, but they certainly did not act on it. I then decided my debt was repaid. Frankly, I don’t care anymore. I have worked with two great companies that lost their way, Digital Equipment and Intel. Maybe it is the destiny of all great companies once the founders move on.

2 thoughts on “Intel starts to be irrelevant?

  1. When I started working at the University of New Hampshire back in the 80s (while working on my Master’s in CS) I got to know Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) software pretty well. What with the DECsystem 1090s, PDP8s and PDP11s, and the VAXen. I always thought it was odd how the CS professors would prefer Unix to VMS. But their rejection had more to do with the fact that VMS was proprietary software from big bad DEC, while Berkeley UNIX was open. In some ways they had a point, but the irony at the time was that I saw more of the software engineering principles and concepts that I was being taught, like abstraction and encapsulation, being used in VMS rather than Unix.
    And of course the real irony, only to be revealed later, was the real big bad company that would come to dominate the world with a poorly designed proprietary single user operating system.

    To this day it is hard for me to believe that the world’s second largest computer manufacturer, which produced such excellent hardware and software, disappeared into a greasy cloud of smoke. It just goes to prove once again that good engineering alone is not enough to succeed.

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