Andy Grove - History

Andy Grove - History

Andy Grove



Andy Grove was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1936. He fled Hungary in 1956 with tens of thousands of other refugees from the abortive Hungarian revolution.

In 1960 he graduated from City College of New York with a bachelor's in chemical engineering. He went on to earn his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963. After graduation he went to work for Fairchild Semiconductor, becoming Assistant Director of Research & Development in 1967.

Grove was one of the founders of Intel in 1968. In 1979 he became the President of Intel and in 1987 he became CEO. He relinquished his title of CEO in 1998, but remained the Chairman of the Board.

Grove is credited with leading Intel into the position of dominant semiconductor manufacturer, particularly in the field of microprocessors. Grove has written extensively and waged a highly public war on prostrate cancer. He lost that battle in 2016.

History of OKRs — From Peter Drucker to Andy Grove -

“Aliyar hates processes.” I heard one of my team mates explain to a new hire.

It was true. I used to hate management by processes. Too much reliance on following processes leads to mediocrity. I’ve seen it happen before and I was determined to avoid it by promote healthy skepticism and a spirit of experimentation. I’m still not a huge fan of processes but I’ve come to see that all processes aren’t created equal.

Building a high performanc e team requires a disciplined approach to managing performance and rewards. Before fully adopting OKRs I had heard about them but I didn’t fully commit to using Objective & Key Results without some trial and error.

Along the way the two management titans that inspired me the most were Peter Drucker and Andy Grove.

Andy Grove, OKR Creator

Measure What Matters is venture capitalist John Doerr’s guide to implementing the “OKR management system,” a goal-setting process he adapted from one used at Intel. The OKR system is used at LinkedIn, Disney, and Twitter, among countless other companies.

Doerr and Andy Grove designed OKRs to be an improvement on traditional management systems. Whether or not you’re in a management position, examine the management system currently in place at your company and decide if the OKR system, or parts of it, could help your company function more efficiently.

Questions About OKRs

You can set up an OKR system at your organization, but it is important to understand your current status. The questions below can help you establish current practice.

What system of management is in place at your organization? What are its features? (For example, is there a clear goal-setting procedure in place? How often are the goals reviewed? Are they public?)

Do you know what objectives your boss expects you to meet this month? This year? If you’re a manager, how confident are you that your employees know what you expect of them? Why

If you’re an employee, do you feel engaged and motivated at your job? Why or why not? If you’re a manager, do you think your employees feel engaged? How do you know?

With Andy Grove’s OKR system your company will be more effective, and create measurable and specific goals.

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of John Doerr's "Measure What Matters" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Measure What Matters summary:

The Andy Grove approach to one on ones as written in High Output Management

A lot of these concepts will seem like common sense, but don’t overlook them. It’s the combination of these habits that work together to build a successful meeting overlooking any one of them can undermine the effectiveness of your one on ones.

1) How long should your one on ones be? Set aside an hour.

I’ve heard of managers trying to set aside as little as 15 minutes for a one on one. That will never work effectively as Grove wrote:

“I feel that a one-on-one should last an hour at minimum. Anything less, in my experience, tends to make the subordinate confine himself to simple things that can be handled quickly.”

Think back to the last time you had a difficult topic to discuss with someone, whether in your personal or professional career. Did you bring it up the second you sat down, or did you feel the need to warm up the discussion? If you valued the relationship, there’s a good chance you waited. That’s normal.

Grove wrote that over and over he found that it was somewhere around the 20 to 30 minute mark of a one on one that “heart to heart” topics tended to come up. If you only schedule 20-30 minutes for your one on one, those topics will often not get brought up because you’re already looking for the door or thinking about your next meeting when they need you most.

Also remember: you have power over your team as their manager. No matter how much rapport you have built with them, it can still be intimidating to bring a problem or bad news to you.

This is why Grove emphasizes that the length of time needed is based on the fact that, “the subordinate must feel that there is enough time to broach and get into thorny issues.” You can always end early if you both agree. However, it’s hard to cover the tough topics if you didn’t book a full hour.

Don’t stifle your one on ones before they start by not giving your team enough time to talk about the most important topics. Give it an hour.

2) How do you decide what to cover? Ask them to set the agenda.

They’re working hard for you all week. One on ones are their time, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t drive the agenda. As Grove wrote:

“A key point about a one-on-one: it should be regarded as the subordinate’s meeting, with its agenda and tone set by him.”

If you’re managing a team of 7, that’s 7 one on ones you have to prepare for. Yet, each team member only has 1 meeting with you they need to prepare for. There’s no reason then not to delegate some of the responsibility of the discussion to them.

This also ensures that you prioritize what they feel is most pressing to discuss. It’s hard for you to always know what’s really been bothering them or what questions have been on their mind. Giving them ownership of the agenda makes it easier to ensure your one on ones cover what Grove considers most important to cover: “issues that preoccupy and nag the subordinate.”

You’re not off the hook, though. You still need to come prepared with topics to discuss and questions to ask.

You should also teach your team what they should bring to discuss. Whether early in their career, or coming from poor managers in the past, many people have never had a good manager that cared about them and had effective one on ones with them.

Taking the time to teach them what to expect in a one on one and what makes a good agenda is a smart investment of your time. It will pay dividends in every one on one meeting thereafter.

3) How should a manager prepare? Ask questions.

If your team member is setting much of the agenda, then what should a manager do? Bring questions.

There are a wide variety of questions you can ask in a one on one. Leveraging any of them can go a long way towards building the kind of healthy relationship with your team that is built on a foundation of trust and understanding. It can also help ensure you catch and fix problems when they’re small. Grove writes:

“The meeting should also cover anything important that has happened since the last meeting: current hiring problems, people problems in general, organizational problems and future plans, and – very, very important – potential problems.”

The best way to catch those problems is to develop the skill of asking good questions. This applies to both sparking new discussions and digging deeper into topics they raise.

In High Output Management, he calls it, “Grove’s Principle of Didactic Management”:

“When the supervisor thinks the subordinate has said all he wants to about a subject, he should ask another question. He should try to keep the flow of thoughts coming by prompting the subordinate with queries until both feel satisfied they have gotten to the bottom of the problem.”

The more you can develop the skill to ask good questions of your team, the stronger a manager you will become. This is especially important if you manage introverts as High Output Management fan and VC, Ben Horowitz has said:

A manager’s job is to do a lot of listening in their one on ones. One of the best ways to make sure you hear what you need to is to follow these experts and ask good questions.

4) What is a manager’s responsibility? Take notes and keep promises.

Listening and asking good questions will definitely improve your one on ones, but only if you make the discussions actionable. Without action and follow through, your team members will not see a reason to keep bringing problems and ideas to you.

If you lose their trust, your effectiveness as a manager is gone. What’s the point of discussing something if all that ever happens is talk?

Positive change and progress is what keeps your team members motivated. The need for progress applies to both their main work projects, as well as issues and opportunities you discuss in a good one on one.

That’s why Grove is a major proponent of taking notes, especially in one on ones. In High Output Management, he wrote:

“Equally important is what “writing it down” symbolizes…the act implies a commitment, like a handshake, that something will be done. The supervisor…can then follow up at the next one-on-one.”

It’s a subtle, but important point at the end: after making a commitment to take action, it’s critical to close the loop by following up in the next one on one. Whether what was promised was done by either of you, checking back in forces accountability.

This can be hugely valuable as you can spend more time on a problem that wasn’t sufficiently addressed from last one on one without it getting lost in the shuffle. You can also build confidence with them if they can see that something they brought up last time has already improved. This makes them more likely to bring up the next issue or idea.

All of this momentum and confidence only happens if you take notes. You’re unlikely to remember what happened a week or more ago simply by memory. Whether you take notes on your phone, use a notebook, enter them on your computer in the meeting, or type notes immediately after, it’s critical to have a habit for taking them if you want to have effective one on ones.

5) How often should you have your one on ones? Use “Task Relevant Maturity” to decide.

One of the most common questions we hear from managers starting out with one on ones is how often to have them. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer.

Common advice often focuses on the size of your team and your other commitments. If you have a large team, it’s not likely feasible to meet with everyone weekly simply due to the time commitment. At the same time, it’s generally accepted as a best practice that you must meet with everyone at least once a month.

That still leaves a wide variance, so what’s a manager to do? Apply Grove’s rule of “Task-Relevant Maturity”:

“The answer is the job- or task-relevant maturity of each of your subordinates. In other words, how much experience does a given subordinate have with the specific task at hand?…the most effective management style instance varies from very close to very loose supervision as a subordinate’s task maturity increases.”

This hands on or hands off approach can apply to your entire approach to managing them. And it definitely applies to one on ones, as Grove continues:

“Accordingly, you should have one-on-ones frequently (for example, once a week) with a subordinate who is inexperienced in a specific situation and less frequently (perhaps once every few weeks) with an experienced veteran.”

This is one of those great ideas hiding in plain sight. Of course, every manager probably realizes a junior employee new to your staff needs more frequent touch points. However, the veteran staff member that just got promoted or is new to your team also needs more guidance and support.

In all cases, it much less a person’s age, and much more their comfort and experience level they have in a role that should dictate your one on one frequency. Don’t assume someone that succeeded in a past role or responsibility is instantly ready and comfortable in a new one.

Too often, we hear of experienced team members promoted (especially to new management roles) who are left unsupported and feeling abandoned. As a consequence, many of them become disengaged and even quit.

Do not mistake previous “Task-Relevant Maturity” for instant comfort and success in a new role. Adjust your one on one frequencies according to skill and comfort in the their current role and you’ll be a management pro like Grove.

Andy Grove is a legendary leader who shares dozens of great ideas you can apply in High Output Management. The ideas we’ve covered above about one on ones are only a small section of the book, so we highly recommend you pick up a copy for yourself to learn all of his lessons.

About Andy Grove

Born András Gróf in Budapest into a Jewish household on September 2, 1936. His father owned a small dairy business, and his mother helped keep the books. His father was rounded up by German troops occupying Hungary during World War II and sent to a labor camp, where he survived typhoid and pneumonia. The young Andy was hidden by a Christian family until the war’s end.

Andy Grove left his homeland in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution. By the time he was twenty, Grove writes in his autobiography he had lived through a “Fascist dictatorship, German military occupation, the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution,’ the siege of Budapest by the Soviet Red Army … and a popular uprising that was put down by gunpoint. …The revolt lasted for thirteen days and was then put down by Soviet armed forces. Many young people were killed countless others were interned. Some two hundred thousand Hungarians escaped to the West.

This theme of tenacity and singular achievement is captured in the title of Grove’s autobiography, Swimming Across. His physics teacher would tell parents that life was like a lake and that all of their children were trying to swim across. “Not all of them will swim across. But one of them, I’m sure, will. That one is Grof.”

Speaking little English, Andy Grove made his way to America in 1957 and enrolled in City College. In spite of a hearing impairment that forced him to learn to read lips and decipher his notes at home or at the library with a dictionary at his side, he graduated at the top of his class with a degree in chemical engineering in 1960. Three years later, he received his Ph.D. at Berkeley.
After working at Fairchild Semiconductor as first a researcher and then assistant director of development, he joined Robert Norse and Gordon Moore in 1968 and together they founded Intel Corporation, which has grown to become the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker. It invented the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers. In this role, Andrew Grove has been pivotal in the development and popularization of the 20th Century's most remarkable innovation: personal computing. The technologies pioneered by Grove and his associates, first at Fairchild Semiconductor and then at Intel, made the entire personal computing revolution possible they have proved also essential for digital cameras, consumer electronic products, household appliances – anything that depended on computerized function.

Before Grove’s retirement in 2005, he served as Intel’s COO, CEO and Chairman of the Board. Several times during his long involvement with Intel, the Silicon Valley giant courted disaster. The causes ranged from unexpectedly tough competition to faulty Intel products to poor management decisions. But Intel rebounded stronger from each episode, thanks largely to Mr. Grove’s ability to recognize the gravity of a crisis and set a new course. “There are waves and then there’s a tsunami,” he wrote in Only the Paranoid Survive. “When a change in how some element of one’s business is conducted becomes an order of magnitude larger than what that business is accustomed to, then all bets are off.”

Grove’s management ideas helped make Intel one of the most profitable companies in the world, with an average annual return of more than 40 percent for its shareholders from the late 1980s to the turn of the century. His work ethic, his personal drive and his notion of the value of “creative confrontation” became the managerial model for generations of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
More than any other person, Andy Grove has made real the defining law of the digital age: the prediction by his friend and Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that microchips would double in power and halve in price every 18 months or so. And to that law, Grove has added his own: “we will continually find new things for microchips to do that were scarcely imaginable a year or two earlier.”

4) Time is your scarcest resource as a manager.

“The single most important resource that we allocate from one day to the next is our own time.”

Managers must ruthlessly manage their time. Consider it an investment (Grove, even in writing the book in 1983, valued a manager’s time at $100/hr). Avoid being in constant, reactive management and focus on priority management not time management.

As Grove puts it, ‘When you say “yes” to one thing, you are inevitably saying “no” to another.”

You can find yourself in meetings all day every day if you’re not careful, but that’s no way to be effective. It also keeps you from many other important activities and long term thinking.

Budget your time and invest in yourself by blocking off time for big-picture thinking. Don’t shortchange the investment in your people either, so also make sure you make time for regular time for one-on-ones.

Further Reading: Need to find more hours in the day? Learn how to better budget your time via priority management here.

‘Success breeds complacency’ – 50 quotes from tech and business visionary Andy Grove

Intel’s legendary co-founder and former CEO Andy Grove passed away on Monday, March 21, 2016. He was born as András Gróf in Budapest in 1936. His life is the stuff of legend – a poor immigrant from Hungary who fled war-torn Europe after World War II and Soviet rule, graduated from University of California at Berkeley, and established a career in the semi-conductor industry.

Intel would go on to be a major shaper of the PC industry, and Grove became renowned as a thought leader, industry visionary and business strategist. In 2000, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and contributed to a number of foundations that sponsor research towards a cure.

One of his most cited quotes on unrelenting innovation is: “Only the paranoid survive,” which is also the title of his second book, a classic on how companies must guard against corporate complacency (his other book is ‘High-Output Management’). But that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg: here are over 50 quotes from this technology and business visionary, sampled from his books and from numerous media interviews. These gems will stand the test of time and continue to inspire us all in our own entrepreneurial journeys.

A corporation is a living organism it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.

A fundamental rule in technology says that whatever can be done will be done.

A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of business when its fundamentals are about to change.

Accept that no matter where you go to work, you are not an employee you are a business with one employee, you. Nobody owes you a career. You own it, as a sole proprietor.

Admitting that you need to learn something new is always difficult. It is even harder if you are a senior manager.

Altogether too often, people substitute opinions for facts and emotions for analysis.

Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, Good companies survive them, Great companies are improved by them.

Businesses fail either because they leave their customers or because their customer leave them!

By the late '90s, those who were paying attention perceived the Internet as a 20-foot tidal wave coming, and we are all in kayaks.

Figuring out what to do is important. But doing it and doing it well is equally important.

Give me a turbulent world as opposed to a quiet world and I'll take the turbulent one.

How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things but how well we are understood.

I believe in the value of paranoia. Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your business and then another chunk and then another until there is nothing left.

I have been quoted saying that, in the future, all companies will be Internet companies. I still believe that. More than ever, really.

I really don't have much respect for the people who live their lives motivated by an exit strategy.

I tend to believe Mark Twain hit it on the head when he said, “Put all of your eggs in one basket and WATCH THAT BASKET.”

I was running an assembly line designed to build memory chips. I saw the microprocessor as a bloody nuisance.

If the world operates as one big market, every employee will compete with every person anywhere in the world who is capable of doing the same job. There are lots of them and many of them are hungry.

If you are a founder of a business, you understand the business implicitly. You understand it through your skin.

Leaders have to act more quickly today. The pressure comes much faster.

Not all problems have a technological answer, but when they do, that is the more lasting solution.

Nothing operates with the factors of 10 as profoundly as the Internet.

People in the trenches are usually in touch with impending changes early.

Privacy is one of the biggest problems in this new electronic age.

Risk is the cost of aggressive objectives.

Status is a very dangerous thing.

Strategic changes doesn't just start at the top. It starts with your calendar.

Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite.

Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.

Take a bit of the future and make it your present.

Technology happens, it's not good, it's not bad. Is steel good or bad?

Technology is both an end in itself and a means to other ends.

Technology will always win. You can delay technology by legal interference, but technology will flow around legal barriers.

The ability to recognise that the winds have shifted and to take appropriate action before you wreck your boat in crucial to the future of an enterprise.

The greatest danger is in standing still.

The Internet is redefining software.

The lesson is, we all need to expose ourselves to the winds of change.

The most powerful tool of all is the word ‘no.’

The new environment dictates two rules: first, everything happens faster second, anything that can be done will be done, if not by you, then by someone else, somewhere.

The person who is the star of previous era is often the last one to adapt to change, the last one to yield to logic of a strategic inflection point and tends to fall harder than most.

The strategic inflection point is the time to wake up and listen.

There are so many people working so hard and achieving so little.

There is at least one point in the history of any company when you have to change dramatically to rise to the next level of performance. Miss that moment - and you start to decline.

Values and behavioral norms are simply not transmitted easily by talk or memo, but are conveyed very effective by doing and doing visibly.

We managers get a little more obsolete every day.

We must be vigilant as a nation to have a tolerance for differences, a tolerance for new people.

We're in the early stages of recasting our commercial lives, our professional lives, our health practices, everything.

Whatever success we have had in maintaining our culture has been instrumental in Intel's success in surviving strategic inflection points.

You can be the subject of a strategic inflection point but you can also be the cause of one.

You have no choice but to operate in a world shaped by globalization and the information revolution. There are two options: adapt or die.

You must understand your mistakes. Study the hell out of them.

You need to plan the way a fire department plans: it cannot anticipate where the next fire will be, so it has to shape an energetic and efficient team that is capable of responding to the unanticipated as well as to any ordinary event.

Your career is your business, and you are its CEO.

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple , Android ).

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Andy Grove - History

The world lost one of the tech industry's most impressive figures when Andy Grove passed away on March 21, 2016. Impressively, Grove fled Nazi and Soviet oppression to rise to the pinnacles of the tech world becoming chairman and CEO of Intel.

Besides his business acumen, Grove was known for being incredibly insightful and generous in giving with respect to his time, so it's probably not a surprise that he was the source of quite a few memorable quotes over the years. Here are just a few of my favorites:

  1. Just as you would not permit a fellow employee to steal a piece of office equipment worth $2,000, you shouldn't let anyone walk away with the time of his fellow managers.
  2. Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.
  3. Not all problems have a technological answer, but when they do, that is the more lasting solution.
  4. The Internet doesn't change everything. It doesn't change supply and demand.
  5. Leaders have to act more quickly today. The pressure comes much faster.
  6. Just as we could have rode into the sunset, along came the Internet, and it tripled the significance of the PC.
  7. Give me a turbulent world as opposed to a quiet world and I'll take the turbulent one.
  8. Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, Good companies survive them, Great companies are improved by them.
  9. There are so many people working so hard and achieving so little.
  10. Technology happens, it's not good, it's not bad. Is steel good or bad?
  11. Your career is your business, and you are its CEO.
  12. I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction and when you realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly
  13. Try not to get too depressed in the part of the journey, because there's a professional responsibility. If you are depressed, you can't motivate your staff to extraordinary measures. So you have to keep your own spirits up even though you well understand that you don't know what you're doing.

Of course, as I mentioned, these are just a few of many standout Andy Grove quotes. When you have a moment, I encourage you to look up some others - this list could have easily gone past 50.

The Next Chapter

Can Grove finally relax? Afraid not. Today Intel is facing another SIP. What’s making Grove a little paranoid today is the processing power that people already have on their desktops.

Over the years, Intel’s engineers have done a brilliant job of developing increasingly powerful chips. And that’s the problem. Intel’s current chips are so good that most people don’t feel any pressure to upgrade. They already have more processing power than they need to run their favorite applications.

Grove recognizes that, right now, people don’t have a strong enough incentive to buy Intel’s next-generation chips—such as the newly released Pentium Pro. He knows that he must actively engineer demand for the new chips. If he doesn’t, the market will become saturated and Intel’s competitors—AMD, Cyrix, and others—will catch up. That is why Intel is currently at a SIP.

Grove has a plan. He’s teaming up with several of Intel’s complementors to develop products that will push the limits of processing power. Thus, Intel is working with MCI to provide more bandwidth for networks. After all, without more bandwidth, people can’t access the large quantities of data that require the number-crunching power of a Pentium Pro. For the same reason, Intel is working with others to develop “hybrid applications” such as interactive games on the Web. It is even venturing outside its core business to ensure that essential complementary products get developed. The company has invested more than $ 100 million in ProShare, a videophone product. If desktop videoconferencing takes off, so, too, will demand for the Pentium Pro.

To see what Intel is doing to develop the market for its future-generation chips, go to its Web page. There you can read not only about Intel’s microprocessors but also about all the complementary products that the company is promoting. Among them are interactive games, Intercast, and an Internet phone that’s a precursor to Internet videophones. This is where the next chapter of the Intel story is unfolding.

1. IBM’s strategy ultimately backfired. Once Intel announced its free-exchange program, consumers flocked back to the Pentium-based machines. Meanwhile, IBM continued to lose market share with its 486-powered machines.