Five Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Craig Barrett

crb05.jpgCraig Barrett, Intel’s former chairman and CEO, has offered up some great rules that helped guide his business life. In a profile for The Wall Street Journal, Michael Malone talked to the recently retired Barrett about his work ethics, business philosophies, and working with Intel legends like co-founders Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce and former CEO Andy Grove. If you are an entrepreneur, you might just find “Barrett’s Rules” to be invaluable.

  1. Invest in hard times. Intel invested heavily in capacity, and when it came out of the downturn, it was able to meet the pent-up demand faster than others.
  2. Consensus is mostly good. Except when it is not. “There’s a time to let everyone twist the knobs and a time to make a decision,” Barrett says.
  3. Follow the business, not Wall Street. No arguments about that, though in the case of start-ups, his advice is not to follow the pundits, media and others who are not your customer. “The job of the CEO is not to reward the short-term speculator of your stock, but to do a good job long-term for your shareholders, employees and customers,” he says. Look what happened to the old AT&T, which paid too much attention to Wall Street.
  4. When something works, don’t reinvent it, reproduce it. McDonald’s fries, anyone?
  5. Good competitors matter. “It’s like athletes: To be a great company you need great competitors…It’s what keeps you alive and keeps you honest,” Barrett says.

You should really read the full article, though it seems to be behind the WSJ paid-wall. (Photo courtesy of Intel Corp.)

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