Book Author: Michael S. Malone
This definitive history of Intel Corporation traces the story of how three honest, visionary, hard-working, and innovative individuals (Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove) created one of the world’s most important companies — yes, businesses even more essential than Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple (“Jobs merely wanted the world to own his company’s computers. Noyce wanted to usher in the digital age.”)
And yet beyond creating the most consequential company of the digital age, the Intel Trinity is the human story of three completely different individuals – a truly dysfunctional start-up team – whose different skill sets are an example of what successful companies need in terms of human capital to last for decades.
Noyce was the visionary leader of Intel. Moore was the brains behind the chips that Intel would manufacture and embed into every electronic device across the world. Grove, a Jewish refugee from Hungary, kept Intel focused on maintaining its competitive edge with his attention to detail and sharp wit.
The four key lessons I learned from reading this excellent book are a) you become a unique company because you decide to be special and never settle for anything less; b) don’t just pursue business goals, but embark on a crusade, one that features a moral imperative to change the world in some way; c) learn from your failures because it makes your company wiser; d) be humble while you and your company pursue lofty goals.
Silicon Valley has changed over the past five decades but if you want to know the essence of what made American innovation the envy of the world, look no further than the story of Intel.