March saw the loss of two of the technology world’s giants, Ray Tomlinson (see articles of note) and Andy Grove who built Intel into the company we now know. Grove was Hungarian but but like many fled in 1956. Despite a thick Hungarian accent (like his compatriot George Solti) he became one of the technology industry’s greatest communicators and strategists.
His mantra was that to survive a company must constantly be on the look out for competitors that emerge and change the business landscape. He documented his management style in ‘Only The Paranoid Survive’ which for many of us ranks as one of the top ten management books ever published. I contains some wonderful gems like:
‘…it makes me scan my emails at the end of a long day searching for problems: news of any disgruntled customers, potential slippages in the development of a new product….’
‘Classify the time you spend listening to them (the Cassadras in your network) as an investment in learning what goes on at the distant periphery of your business ….’
He invented the Dynamic Dialectic matrix to identify how well companies might survive depending on how well their top-down and bottom up actions are aligned.
Grove’s book should be mandatory reading for every would be entrepreneur and CEO.