The paper gives a review of the seminal work that explicates the history of business and technology in the modern day society. The author goes on to delve deep into the dynamics of the people involved in starting up and consolidating one of the most famous companies in the entire world. The three visionaries and their characteristics and actions constitute the major part of the book. The review explores the inter-personal relationship and dynamics, and documents the history of the company over the years.
The Intel Trinity
The Intel Trinity is one of the seminal literary works penned by Michael S. Malone who goes on to intrigue his avid readers with the portraiture of the facts in the best possible way. The journalist author goes on to explicate the stories of the globe’s most important company that is extremely audacious in its innovativeness with an endless vision and ever-ambitious competitiveness. The book goes on to talk about the success story of the company that shows its grit and supremacy by going on to reshape the industries. However, quite interestingly, the author mentions the particular name of the company only a few times in the entire course of the book. The Silicon Valley corporate history explicated in this book by Malone fills the missing link in the authoritative work that blends the technology and the important people with the well-documented business history of the domain of work.
The prolific writer’s immense capability to capture the quintessence of the personalities of the stalwarts of the industry has served him a great purpose in completing the work of this book in context. The book has the utmost richness of impressive knowledge of the context and richness that explicates the Valley. The author goes on to focus on the personalities instead of their bytes, bits and peta-flops. Apart from the advanced knowledge exuded in the course of the work, the author goes on to include a very handy tutorial of the very basic electronics so that the technologically-challenged people can have a chance at the comprehension of the matter in context. Thus, he slides into the main narrative of the book after providing the apt background for his avid readers.
Quite interestingly, Malone indulges in providing this book a subtheme of theology by anointing the protagonists of the story with a certain biblical relationship. Likewise, Bob Noyce is introduced to be the son of a preacher from Iowa, and is described as a born leader and also a charismatic and loved Father. On the other hand, Andy Grove is introduced by telling how he was born in the nation of Hungary and brought up in a milieu of Nazi and Soviet occupations. He is described to be a paranoid yet genius Son. Apart from this, the personality of Gordon Moore is described as a native California person who is a humane, elegant Holy Spirit. The man is showed to be someone who is hovering with careful counsel and advice all the time.
It was in the year 1968 when Fairchild Semiconductor went on to start Intel. Intel went on to become legendary with its technology as it actively revolutionized the making of transistors through the “print” of silicon wafers quite alike the sheets of postage stamps. Moore was a solid-state physicist who led the R&D, while Noyce was the CEO of the company. They went on to decide on to work for the purpose and were helped in part by the $2.5 million that was flogged all over the nation by Arthur Rock and Noyce in convertible debentures. One of the best achievements of the book by Malone is the chronicling of the people who founded one of the most iconic companied of the Silicon Valley that revolutionized the technology of the entire world.
The book describes how Moore went on to become immortalized in the pages of history owing to his eminent forecast that went on to become the business model of the industry. It was in the year 1965, April, that Moore went on to posit that the number of the transistors put in a chip would go on to become double per year. Later, he opined that the number would get double in every couple of years, and since that time the exponential growth has help up since that time. At the time Grove was the deputy of Moore at Fairchild, and when he came to know about the fact that his senior was leaving the company, he expressed his wish to come along with him.
The book in context is much advanced and detailed in its approach to the subject matter (much unlike the earlier books that have been written on the company, Intel, and its various principles). The book talks about the equations of the people involved in the success story of the company. Thus, the facts that were long unknown to the outside world of Intel came to be documented in this detailed literary work. The author explains how the scenario was like that of a dysfunctional family endeavoring to sit down calmly at the dinner table every day. Thus, the internal conflicts and impediments faced by the company are aptly documented in the course of the book in context.
Grove felt that Noyce was quite overrated at Fairchild, and he opined that Noyce was rather detached from the situation from the staff meetings. He would sit back while others would be at one another during such meetings. Nonetheless, the author explicates how ardent Grove was would follow Noyce at every place in spite of his shortcomings. Grove was intelligent enough to comprehend that the “center of gravity” of the chip industry of Valley was seeing a shift from Fairchild. The author also describes how things were in Intel when the company started out its work. Malone describes that the operations in Intel did not start out too well for the company. Grove went on to experience how sloppy the procedure of selecting the company name was as the name was not determined beforehand.
The book explains how Moore and Noyce went on to toy with several options for naming the company. One of the options weighed by the duo was the name, N.M. Electronics. But, they thought that the name sounded inappropriate for the domain of work. According to Pinkerton (2014), combining the names of Moore and Noyce would make it sound bizarre, and hence that option was discarded by them. The company name that they finally came to decide on was Intel which was an amalgamation of the term Integrated Electronic. Apart from this, the name was also indicative of intelligence owing to its pronunciation. However, Grove found the process of deciding on the name to be quite undisciplined- something that testified to the casual approach of Noyce in managing the company.
One has to comprehend the fact that there is a notion in the industries across the world that during the phase of startup, the companies need an inspirational person at the helm as the boss who would be able to instill inspiration and resolution among the employees of the company to give their best effort in the process of betterment of the company. Malone, the author of this book, goes on to present a very compelling case in favor of Noyce and describes him to be the right person during the startup phase of Intel. According to Malone (2014), “Bob Noyce's greatest gift, even more than his talent as a technical visionary was his ability to inspire people to believe in his dreams, in their own abilities, and to follow him on the greatest adventure of their professional lives.”
Grove also went on to chafe at the risks that were taken by Noyce in the domain of his personal life. Noyce would fly his own plane- something that he was once ending up crashing with Steve Jobs on board his plane. Apart from this, Noyce also indulged in having open affairs with two very exquisite employees of the company. Later on, one of the two women (one who was the head of the human resources in the company) got married to Noyce to be his second wife. The book goes on to delve deep into the interesting facts like the one where Noyce concealed from Grove that the company indulged in secret skunk works so as to develop a microprocessor. This microprocessor was supposed to be single general chip that was enabled to perform many functions including calculation, logic, and memory along with power control.
The man who was engaged in this work used to report to Noyce directly bypassing any involvement from Grove, in spite of the fact that Grove was the head of the operations in the organization. As Grove came to know about the matter, he became very agitated. However, with all his commitment in the company, he went on to aid the process of recruiting a young and talented engineer from Fairchild. This man was supposed to be the one in charge of the project- something that went on to redefine Intel holistically. This went on to be a big turn in the fortune and future of the company that was aimed to reach higher level of success and popularity with its innovation and technological advancement.
The book also mentions about the public attention that was received by Noyce who came to be known as the “Mayor of Silicon Valley.” The book talks about an incident when Regis McKenna, the marketing consultant to a lot of tech firms in the business, found Grove fuming over a magazine article that focused only on the success and contribution of Moore and Noyce. The reaction of Grove to the magazine piece is explicated in vivid detail so as to weave a clear picture in the mind of the avid reader regarding the matter in context. However, the ranting ended soon as Grove got back to his utmost commitment to the business at hand.
The book explains how no form of discord among the key people of the company could go on to effect the day-to-day functioning of the company as a whole. The author of the book goes on to delve deep into the work culture of the company. The culture is described to be take-no-prisoners warrior culture. The employees became very competitive among themselves observing the constant competition among the bosses of the company. Malone also explores the possibility that Grove was a man petrified by the possibility of his failure, was always on the lookout for gaining supremacy and power. Thus, he went on to suppress the inter-personal hostilities to the best degree, thereby imposing his form of totalitarian rule along with pushing the employees to perform to the best of their abilities.
Malone describes Moore to be a humble person who with his self-enactment and commitment chaired as the CEO of the company for twelve long years from 1975 to 1987. He could envisage the future of technology better than any other person, and thus boosted the functioning of the company. In stark comparison to the nature of this man, Grove was someone was an enforcer and pushed everyone to outperform for the holistic development of the company. However, he did make one misstep that is also mentioned in the course of the book. He went on to handle the infamous Pentium bug of 1994. Intel went on to explain the flaw to be a minor one, and hence decided to do nothing about it.
Nonetheless, the incident was highlighted by the media- something that accused the company of showing high-handedness and arrogance. This created uproar among the users who were very much concerned about the shortcoming that could harm the usage. At this juncture, when a month has passed into the controversy, Grove went on to announce that Intel was committed to replace any parts of the system that the customer would want to get replaced.
Malone goes on to describe about the present CEOs who came after the iconic trinity of the company. Thus, the book goes on to provide a holistic survey and insight about the internal dynamics and functioning of one of the biggest companies of the world in the domain of technology. Thus, the book gives a holistic view of the company, and gives the idea of the development and consequent functioning of Intel. The contribution of the three visionaries constitutes the book’s main theme. The book is informative yet inspiring to say the least.
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