Episode#35 – Inside Intel

Inside Intel

by Tim Jackson


The book in one sentence

How Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andrew Grove shaped the Silicon Valley.


My personal opinion

The book starts with one of Intel’s biggest challenges and a great business learning for all of us: do not try to hide product issues from public. In case of Intel, it was a hardware problem with one of their products, known as the Pentium-FDIV-Bug. I strongly recommend to read the article since it is an interesting lesson about how to (not) handle product issues.

All in all, I really liked this book. It was interesting to read about the beginnings of the Silicon Valley and to understand why and how Intel was founded, how it grow to the worldwide operating company it is today and how they dominated the semiconductor market. You will also learn about the history of other popular companies from this time, like AMD or IBM. If you are not already familiar with the past relationships between these companies Inside Intel is a great starting point.

The founders of Intel build a company and culture which enforced creativity. For example, engineers got a budget of $100,000 to bring new ideas to live. The story is still a inspiring role model for companies today.

In his book Tim Jackson also describes the other side of Intel. He writes about several legal issues between Intel’s management and its competitors or employees. Especially working with Andrew Grove seems like an exhausting experience.

After I finished the book I took a look at the reviews on Amazon.com and found one of a former Intel employee, Tim May. His feedback about the Intel story was interesting, since, based on his personal experience, working at Intel and under Andrew Grove was not as intimidating as described by Tim Jackson.

Well, I think it’s like always: different people have different views. One of the reasons I read that many articles and books is to build my own opinion…


To whom I would recommend this book

If you want to learn more about the beginnings of the Silicon Valley the story written by Tim Jackson is an entertaining book!

I would recommend you to read Inside Intel and High Output Management, too. You will get a better understanding of the management principles at Intel and a broader perspective on Andrew Grove.


What I learned from this book

  • Be open and honest about your failures.
  • Sometimes you have to step back to make big decisions.
  • Listen. Welcome new ideas and value creativity. Otherwise people will leave you. Encourage them to share their thoughts. Create a culture of openness.
  • Think big.
  • Give your people the freedom and ressources to try out new things.
  • Keep learning, keep innovating.
  • Create an ecosystem around your business.


Want to read this book?

Check it out on Amazon.com – Inside Intel by Tim Jackson



Thanks to the publisher for printing such a great book!

Hoffmann und Campe Verlag