Week 5: Discuss the role dilemmas. Discuss recognizing and appreciating people who may offer (the not necessary obvious) “skill you can teach and skills you can’t”



A business can’t run without management. Startup founders face challenges when structuring proper roles for themselves with the official executive titles within the founding team who are the decision-makers.

What they can do, what they actual do and what they should do?

How recognizing and appreciating people who may offer “skill you can teach and skills you can’t”?

Let hear one of the story of the legendary masters of enterprise and/or the unsung entrepreneurial heroes who mastered their management skills:

The history of the modern computer industry is rife with pioneering duo: William Hewlett and David Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates and Paul Allen. But the duo that is most responsible for making personal computers as common a consumer durable as television sets is Andrews Grove and Gordon Moore. Through the combination of Moore’s inventive engineering and Grove’s hard-driving, sometimes ruthless management style, these innovative entrepreneurs provided the “ammunition” for the personal computer revolution and built one of the most profitable business in the annals of industry.

Born in Pescadero, CA, a coastal town about 50 miles north of San Francisco, Gordon Moore never dreamed he’d become an entrepreneur. After graduating from the California Institute of Technology with a Ph. D. in chemistry and physics, he found that teaching jobs were scarce and accepted a position with Shockley Semiconductor, a research lab founded by Nobel Prize winner and co-inventor of the transistor, William Shockley. At Shockley, Moore met and became friends with another engineer, Robert Noyce.

William Shockley may have been a brilliant scientist, but he proved to be a merciless manager and virtually impossible to work for. After a year of frustration, Moore, Noyce and six other engineers left Shockley and started Fairchild Semiconductor, a West Coast subsidiary of Fairchild Camera & Instrument. Together, this close-knit group developed the first integrated circuits, which combined several electronic components onto a single chip rather than devoting a separate chip to each function. As Moore recalled, “We had no idea that we had turned the first stone on something that was going to be a $1 billion business.”

During his time at Fairchild, Moore interviewed and hired his future partner, Andrew Grove. A Holocaust survivor, Grove had immigrated to the U.S in 1957 when the Soviet Union invaded his homeland in Hungary….

For the next 5 years, Grove would work side by side with Moore. At Fairchild, Grove was a member of the team that perfected the use of silicon in transistors, which set the stage for the semiconductor revolution.

But while Grove and his team were revolutionizing the semiconductor industry, Fairchild was falling apart. Engineers were leaving, top executives didn’t understand the business, and science was being replaced by politics. Sensing Fairchild was doomed, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore decided to start their own company. Knowing Grove’s excellent organizational, communication and leadership skills, they asked him to join them.

Backed with money provided by San Francisco venture capitalist Arthur Rock, the trio founded Intel (short of Integrated Electronics) Corp. in 1968. With Noyce as CEO, Moore as Executive Vice President and Grove as Director of Operations, Intel produced its first product – a bipolar memory chip in 1969. Intel first big product, the 1101 Static RAM chip, gave the company a strong lead on its competitors, a lead it maintained for nearly 10 years.

Intel experienced tremendous growth throughout the 1970s, dominating the memory chip market and increasing its earning with each fiscal year. Moore succeeded Noyce as CEO in 1979, and Grove became the company’s president. In 1987, Moore retired, handing the title of CEO over to Grove. Under Grove’s guidance, Intel produced increasingly powerful microprocessors throughout the 1990s, achieving near-monopoly conditions in supplying chips for PCs. AS the popularity of PCs grew, completion in the market became fierce, Intel began producing chips for “value PCs” in 1997. Once again, Grove was able to keep Intel on top. By the end of 1997, Intel held nearly 90% of the microprocessor market, with sales exceeding $25 billion.

In May 1998, three decades after he helped found Intel, Andrew Grove relinquished his CEO title to company COO Craig Barret. In an interview for CNN.com, Grove explained his reason for stepping down: “I have been CEO for 11 years. Intel has been around 30. I’m the third CEO, so I’ve had more than the average share of tenure.”


The Founder’s Dilemmas of Noam Wasserman

How to Hire A-Player of Eric Herrenkohl

Radicals & Visionaries Entrepreneurs who revolutionized the 20th Century of Thaddeus Wawro

Youtube video: The role of Management



8 thoughts on “Week 5: Discuss the role dilemmas. Discuss recognizing and appreciating people who may offer (the not necessary obvious) “skill you can teach and skills you can’t”

  1. I appreciate how you connected your message to dynamic duos of history. That comparison created a clear visual while reading your blog. This information makes understanding team efforts an easy concept.


  2. Interesting story! It seems that so far Intel has been able to solve the challenge that hobbled Shockley and Fairchild: retention of talent. It’s hard to imagine a situation where six or more talented engineers would be fed up enough that they all quit their jobs to start their own company. I did a little reading up on this and it seems like those employees’ departure actually caused Shockley to go out of business! Lot of valuable lessons in that event. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Mary,
    Really enjoyed the post. Thank you for the history lesson. Amazing when you think about it, but I imagine many businesses are the result of people being dissatisfied with their current company and deciding to go out on their own. I thought it was also amazing that all three co-founders were able to be a CEO at one point. I wonder how often that happens.


  4. Hi Mary!

    That was a very interesting story, I had actually never heard how that came to be before. Hearing stories like that makes me think how being an entrepreneur and “hitting a home run” can sometimes catch us by surprise. In a way, I feel like what each of us are doing in these courses is simply increasing our odds of becoming successful entrepreneurs. Because, yes, even someone without business/entrepreneurial experience could be a great entrepreneur, but the things we learn here are no doubt increasing these chances of success.

    Nicely written article,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s