Notes from 'High Output Management'

"First, everything happens faster. Second, anything that can be done will be done, if not by you then by someone else."

Notes taken from Andy Grove's High Output Management, originally published in 1983:

Page xv (Introduction): The motto I'm advocating is "Let chaos reign, then rein in chaos"

You could almost extract value out of each word in this sentence; 'Let' as in - you are in control and allowing this chaos to reign, 'chaos' as in - things can devolve into absolute disorder and yet you are still in control (allowing it) and on and on. 

Page xvii (Introduction): You need to plan the way a fire department plans. It cannot anticipate where the next fire will be, so it has to shape an energetic and efficient team that is capable of responding to the unanticipated as well as to any ordinary event. 

Here we see the benefits of building a dynamic and flexible business versus a defensible business. Some investors ask/evaluate how the current team/product etc. can be defended against would be attackers. However, as elegantly outlined in the above quote, it's more important to build flexible teams and products that can actively respond to competitive threats.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness) calls a company (or any other entity) that follows this idea antifragile. The human immune system is an example of an antifragile system: one that improves with every new threat [1].

Page 16: You should guard against overreacting. This you can do by pairing indicators, so that together both effect and counter-effect are measured. 

Page 60: Delegation without follow-through is abdication.

Page 104: You should attempt to determine your customers' expectations and their perception of your performance.

Page 189: [On giving feedback] Level, listen and leave yourself out...The purpose of the review is not to cleanse your system...but to improve his/her performance. 

Page 194: Moving from blaming others to assuming responsibility constitutes an emotional step, while the move from assuming responsibility to finding the solution is an intellectual one.