Andrew Grove and nanotech

Alexander Chislenko (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 12:51:14 -0400

I hear Andrew Grove speak a lot lately: just yesterday
I was at his lecture at MIT, and now it's NPR.
He published a book, "only the paranoid survive" - mostly
on handling organizational changes; there, he speaks
of Strategic Inflection Points, etc. It may not be
a breakthrough in the management theory or philosophy
of technology, but is definitely worth attention - at
least as a chance to look into the internals of information
processing architecture of one of the most influential brains
in computer industry.

One thing that upset/surprised me today listening to Grove's
talk on NPR, is his answer to the question on perspectives of
nanotechnology, and whether he thinks it may be used for
manufacturing computer chips.

He answered:

"To tell the truth, I even do not know why we are not using
this technique".

I would think a man in his position would have a better
knowledge of perspective technologies.
On the other hand, he may have played dumb so that nobody would
suspect Intel is putting most of its research money into Nano-86
or something like that. With strategic plans being such an
important part of company's welfare, one would expect that CEOs
would be very good at concealing their true opinions in the most
sensitive areas, and making up something plausible with a straight
face. They would make excellent poker players, these industry

I used to be in similar situations; I had some KGB folks ask me
things about pacifist activities (considered criminal at the time);
the best reply I could find was not to deny them, but to make believe
I was so far away from it so I didn't quite understand the question.
It definitely helped my strategic well-being. ;-) I had a better
excuse than Grove to hide the truth then - I had more to lose.

So what do you think: is he so far away from nanotech that he
hasn't heard about it, or so close that he plays dumb?

Alexander Chislenko <>
Firefly Network, Inc.: <> 617-234-5452