One of the business pivots I have always admired was the story at Intel. Founded 1968, the company’s first hit product was actually in memory chips, or RAM. Their 1103 chip was the best-selling memory chip in the world in 1972, and Intel dominated the space for most of the ’70s. But by the early ’80s, Japanese companies were eroding Intel’s market dominance with capable and competitively priced chips of their own. advertisement advertisement The team at Intel had a massive discussion about how to respond: Some wanted to invest in their memory chip business, others wanted to target niche markets, while others wanted to focus on their newer product line, the microprocessor, which was only a fraction of their total revenue. In 1985, with memory chip market share down 97% and their U.S. competitors going under left and right, cofounder Andy Grove and CEO Gordon Moore had a crucial conversation in one of the office cubicles. As the story goes , Grove mused that they might get replaced by the board with a new executive. “What would the new guy do?” they wondered. The answer was clear: They’d get Intel out of the memory business. So the two decided… Read full this story
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