What can Intel’s focus teach us about business success?

All businesses experience both periods of optimism and periods of turbulence.

Managing your business in this environment can be stressful as, more often than not, you cannot enjoy the good times if you suspect that bad times are just around the corner.

So how can you avoid the stressful highs and lows and still consistently grow your business, even in turbulent economic conditions?

Jim Collins, in his brilliant book Great by Choice, examines contrasting strategies for a pair of businesses in the same industry, exposed to the same turbulence and economic conditions.

Two names that you will recognise are Intel and AMD.  They both make the integrated circuits (ICs) that power your Macs and PCs.

Intel started as a memory chip and microprocessor manufacturer.  But in 1985 they took a long, hard look at their business and decided to exit the memory chip market and to focus purely on microprocessors.  Focusing on their one main thing – improving the processing power of their microprocessors – has resulted in their ability to double the processing power of their ICs every 18-24 months.  Intel re-engineered their entire business to achieve this single focus – this was their discipline.

AMD, on the other hand, decided that their one main thing was to become Number 1 in ICs by the end of the 1990s.  This caused them to over-extend their debt rather than pursue controlled growth.  And instead of focusing internally, they focused on what their competition were doing instead.

During good times, both Intel and AMD grew.  However, when the market turned, AMD failed, whereas Intel quietly and consistently continued to grow.  

Intel now dominates the market – their fanatical discipline on their one main thing paid off big time!

Click here to learn more details about the success of Intel and how even in times of turbulence you can still grow your business and beat the competition by obsessing about your one main thing.

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