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One of the problems with Intel culture - especially under BK was that the philosophy was "Focus on our key goals to the exclusion of everything else". It was meant to keep focus and ensure we moved quickly. The problem with that is it meant we were entirely unresponsive. It doesn't matter if something important has come up because you've already agreed what the priority is, you've already committed to what you're going to do. So even if something does come up, communicating that problem to the team that needs to fix it is impossible because you'll get ZBB'd (if we do this, we will drop that). Then once you've got engineering to commit, the bureaucracy won't let you just release anything so you need to line up into a release process.

I'm sure no one intended to mislead, but organisationally Intel just isn't designed to fix bugs. It doesn't have a process to respond to issues.




Dumb question: Can you clarify what ZBB'd means in this context? I've never seen it before. There's a wiki page [0] with various meanings for the abbreviation, but nothing seemed to fit. Maybe Zero-based budgeting?

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZBB


Zero-based budgeting. It effectively means that a project is no longer getting funded or staffed and is therefore dead.


I have to wonder how many bitter Pyrrhic victory jokes get made by victims of poor implementation based on the creator's last name - Pyrrh. I've seen too many companies destroyed by superficially attractive budgeting schemes, even with how much tech has started to acknowledge perverse incentives they seem to get overlooked. The worst I had direct experience with was a company where they moved to all income being credited to marketing & bizdev and all other parts of the company being treated as losses to be minimized. We were both advertising supported (and thus needed content to sell anything) and had professional products that required analysts, but they when the market started looking rougher they kept the sales & ad people and concentrated layoffs on people who produced things or ran the infrastructure.

Ultra-simplified bookkeeping interpreted through the lens of too much coke nearly destroyed them. The dotcom bubble was a very strange time.


That company culture and structure needs to change, and fast. Giants do fall.

Instead of focusing on a PR war and scrambling to salvage one fire after another, Intel needs to produce a strategy that will keep them in the game by actually providing value -- not by twisting the hands of big corps for lucrative long-term contracts.


>BK was that the philosophy was "Focus on our key goals to the exclusion of everything else".

The Key Goals for the past 4 years if not longer were to ship 10nm with respectable yield. Which as closing of 2019 still didn't happen.

So I am not even sure what they were focused on.




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