Story goes that when the R&D team lead by Bob Noyce left Fairchild in 1966, it took them 5 days to raise capital to start Intel. The next team leaving in 1967, was the manufacturing team lead by Charlie Sporck. It took them 5 weeks to raise Capital to form National Semiconductor. The third team to leave was Sales and Marketing team lead by Jerry Sanders. It took them 5 months to get capital to start AMD.

All three companies were successful. Intel was engineering driven and excelled in Innovations. It invented DRAM, microprocessors, EPROM and Flash memory chips. National went to become most
efficient manufacturer of chips while AMD was the flashiest marketer.

Intel was forced to have a second source by market for its X86
chips. AMD was anointed. It was much later when AMD acquired NexGen that it had its own microprocessor technology.

For most part Intel went from strength to strength and its stock soared. AMD and National were always “also rans”. So this headline was like a bolt from the blue. Intel strayed from its true path and fell behind in technology. It missed the mobile wave, GPU wave as it lived high on the hog, from fat margins from its microprocessor monopoly.

Intel is trying to get back to its engineering roots. It has an engineer at helm now. IT is shedding its NIH (Not Invented Here syndrome) mindset and using third party technology. It is investing in technology rather than marketing.

Hopefully, Intel, like phoenix will rise again.

Ishan Nadkarni is a young entrepreneur from Bombay. He is also a fellow IITB graduate.

Ishan stopped by other day at our office in San Mateo. He surprised me presenting me with a pencil sketch of me he had done several years ago as a student during one of my periodic visit to my alma mater. Very nicely done, I must say.

After an hour of session with me, he again surprised me with an email a day later. He had summarized the thoughts expressed by me during the meeting. It is very satisfying to see simple thoughts/ideas have such an impact. I think Ishan is going places!!!

Here is his email:

== Gospels of Truth – From Kanwal to Ishan ==
Keep your head down and keep working.
Expect no respect. Work hard and earn it.
Shift out of your comfort zone to leading, managing, selling to customers, running the company.
Grow faster as a person that the rate of your company’s growth.
Use spirituality to detach. And to manage yourself.
Talk to, listen and learn from consumers. Then iterate your vision and product according to market needs.
Business is mathematics. All said and done, the numbers have to make sense.
No army can walk on an empty stomach for long.

Thanks again for your time. I hope you liked the sketch 🙂


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Excelan had hit a full stride by early 1989. We finished a very strong year in 1988 with almost $60 million in revenue. I can’t recall the exact profits, but we were very profitable. Our LAN Workplace product for PCs had caught fire. For the first time users could use their local server and be on the corporate network at the same time. We helped Microsoft with Windows where we taught them to preserve the “state of network connection” when the user switched to different window. Until then, Windows was strictly a local machine or a single window network workstation.

This is the second Quarterly earning report for Excelan after it had gone public. Back then, companies printed and mailed quarterly reports to all share holders.