“Get back to work, and stop asking questions like that.”


Daniel Payne, commenting on “Revisiting Andy Grove’s Only the Paranoid Survive“,

Ed, great story on how Intel has changed over the years. I was at Intel designing DRAM chips from 1978-1980 and will never forget coming into work one day and reading that Mostek had leap-frogged Intel by introducing the first 64Kb DRAM, while I was working on a 16Kb DRAM. I asked my manager why we were a generation behind, and he simply said, “Get back to work, and stop asking questions like that.”

During the time period of 1982-1986 about 25% of Intel employees quit the company or were down-sized after going through a hiring freeze, wage freeze, 10% pay cuts, and being asked to work 2 extra hours per day (unpaid). It was especially difficult to hear the continued bad economic news from executives like Dave House, who would drive up in his expensive sports car.

Having said all of that, Intel was still the best-run hardware company that I’ve worked at. Their Management By Objectives worked quite well.

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