As of today The Intel Trinity,The: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World’s Most Important Company wins my award for best business book of 2015.
I got an Apple ][ for my bar mitzvah in 1978. Ever since then I’ve been fascinated with computers and the computer industry. I obviously missed the 1950s and 1960s, but the history of that time period has deeply informed my perspective, especially the definition of Moore’s law by Gordon Moore in 1965.
I work with many first time and young entrepreneurs who know the phrase “Moore’s Law” but know nothing about the origin story of Intel or the history of how Moore’s Law built the base of an industry that we continue to build on. I also know many experienced entrepreneurs who seem to have forgotten that the phenomenon we experience around innovation, disruption, innovators vs. incumbents, and radical shifts in the underlying dynamics of markets is nothing new.
If you fall into this category, as hard as it may be to acknowledge, get a copy of The Intel Trinity and read it from cover to cover.
Michael S. Malone has written another excellent book (he’s one of my favorite tech history writers) that does more than document the history of Intel and its impact on the universe. The best part of this book is understanding the characters of Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove, especially how they worked together as early co-founders (Noyce / Moore), an initial management troika (Noyce/Moore/Grove), and the subsequent leadership of Intel for 30 years. It’s a powerful example of founding entrepreneurs and their leadership of a company from inception, through several near death events, to sustainable market dominance.
It also gives anyone who says “this time is different” some perspective. Just remember, “All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.”