Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Intel is the new IBM. Google it.

Mr S. and I have been talking about Intel a lot lately. I have literally used the Intel building as a landmark since I was a kid. I don't even have to know what road I'm on - I just look for the Intel building to navigate my way around Santa Clara. You can see it from about half the city. In the Valley, Intel has always been the source of the spring that everything comes from.

The past few weeks though I've been worrying about Intel. I go to a ton of conferences, and you know who I never see represented there? Intel. I drive by their campus and the building looks like it could use a fresh coat of paint. Mr S. and I have literally had at least a half a dozen conversations about Intel lately. They have missed a lot of product cycles now, and the layoff rumor was so not a secret, I got an email a couple of days ago speculating it would happen.

When I heard that Intel was making a shark tank reality show called America's Greatest Makers I was pretty confused because they just put out a feeler to sell their VC unit. I told Mr S. that I think Intel has run out of ideas. And the show seems like an overreaction to them missing out on product cycles. Now they are just going to throw money at anything.

After watching the show a few days ago, I felt more hopeless about Intel. It's like my worst day at a trade show.

In Silicon Valley - everyone eventually dies. One day that will be Intel. I'm sure everyone is freaked about the large layoffs. And the economy is weak. But Intel is a wounded animal. Last year they tried to hide layoffs in Oregon, so I was pretty surprised that this one made the news. Maybe because of the large size. The layoffs last year in Oregon the media couldn't even get an official layoff headcount.

Intel is going through the cycle of life.


  1. That's funny that they have a reality show. Maybe we should apply. Arcades have huge geek appeal. If I had their budget, I'd have a media arm too. It's too bad all the engineers will lose their jobs, driving for Uber won't pay as much. Maybe there are limits to tech after all. DF

  2. Well, there ~are~ limits to tech - but there is also complacency. It happens a lot with big companies. The felt they didn't need to make a lower powered chip and by the time it was obvious they needed to -ARM came in with one. Even though they had the Intel name, a new chip can take a while to have the proper infrastructure that companies rely on. So they would have been basically like an unknown again. There was no benefit to using Intel over and ARM chip which had already built their own infrastructure.

    I think you should try. Being shy myself, Mr S. has taught me that you can get a long way just by asking. He's not shy at all. They might say no, and that's okay. Keep trying. People say yes, way more often than you expect. Adopt the Silicon Valley philosophy. Life is like a video game. Most of the times you lose, but you still keep playing. Don't you?