Less is Moore

When I did my .com journey in the late 1990s, the whole management team I belonged to was required to read two books full of mixed metaphors: "Crossing the Chasmand "Inside the Tornado". 

The first book points out that as a product goes through the technology adoption life cycle there is a credibility gap (the chasm) in moving from the visionary market with the innovators and early adopters to the more lucrative majority markets and perhaps even catch the laggards. The solution is to adopt a bowling alley strategy, where you try to address several markets at the same time and use a successful leap in one to give you cred in the next.

So after making the jump and trying to survive in a Tornado, you also have to start thinking about who you want to become in the jungle, i.e. how you position yourself in relation to the competition. The gorilla is the market-share leader whose position is sustained by proprietary technology. The chimp's market share position is subordinate to the gorilla in a market where both vendors have proprietary technology that is incompatible with the other's. A monkey company focus on to reproduce the gorilla's in-market offering as best it can and sell it at a substantial discount.

From Marsvinsholm 2011

When the financial bubble burst around 2001, I believe we were inside the tornado with balls and pins flying. Although it might have looked like monkey business to outsiders, especially in retrospect, it was hard work indeed no matter what kind of primate you considered yourself to be. Although we walked away with less money than we had hoped, we got a really good crash course in what it's like to work in a high-growth company and how to manage really difficult set-backs.

A company that have been successful in crossing the chasm is Intel. They seem to have balanced the two laws of Moore in a good way. It must be fascinating for Gordon Moore to see his prediction that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit will double approximately every two years continue to be fulfilled. However, apparently he thinks that the rate of progress will slow down in the next decade or so. 

His second law concerns the capital cost of a semiconductor fab, where he has predicted that this will also increase exponentially although the unit cost drops. Of course, the urge among marketing people and product developer to fulfill the first law surely has driven the costs, and the success in the tornado alley has made it possible.

Intel's language is not very rich with metaphors, although you get kind of hungry reading about all these chips and wafers...

From Höstmarknad sep 2014

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