Being hyper competitive probably leads to being Insular, Intel admits it is Insular

There are many who pride themselves on being competitive.  So competitive they are regularly saying in their mind and to others how much better they are than the rest.  This superior attitude then leads you to think others are dumb.  They don’t get it.  Your way is better than others.

This could be described by Type A vs. Type B behaviors.

I have many times told the story one of the things I realized being surrounded by many Type A people in major corporations is that one way to look at people who are Type A is they are much more insecure than Type B, and happen to be really good at a few things.  So good at these few things that they these things become a top priority in their work and lives, they then tell others how good they are at these things.  Some may be impressed.  Many times though as time goes on, 5, 10, 15, 20 years, it looks kind of silly.

An example is Intel’s new CEO admitting the company had become Insular.  The world does not revolve around x86 processors.  In the Intel view, they are dominant of the x86 processor and they beat everyone else.  Meanwhile, many others have moved on to smartphones and tablets where the x86 processor is irrelevant. 

“We’d become insular,” Krzanich said. “We’d become focused on what was our best product versus where the market wanted to move.”


“I was personally embarrassed that we seemed to have lost our way,” said Bryan, who lives in Oregon and works from Intel's Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro. He acknowledged that Intel had flat-out missed the consumer appeal of the iPad and other tablets, which now run primarily on designs from rival ARM Holdings.

That “put us in a hole,” Bryant said. “We’re paying a price for that right now.”

I can imagine there were dozens if not hundreds of people since the launch of the iPhone and iPad at Intel who were trying to tell others to wake up and embrace the mobile market.  “We are we have the Intel Atom.”  No that is a dumbed down x86.  The market wants a powerful mobile chip.  “We have the Intel Atom v2, then version 3.”  Meanwhile Qualcomm ships a Snapdragon 800.


One way to view Intel is to think of them is not as a processor company, but as the dominant x86 processor semiconductor manufacturing company.  No one builds x86 processors better than Intel.  Who cares?  Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, Marvell, and many others are running many times faster than Intel building ARM processors to create the mobile experience.  Intel has become Insular to the mobile change.

We all have many more ARM processors in our lives than x86.

This problem is not unique to Intel.  I can name many more dominant companies that show the Insular, Type A I am better than you weak Type B people behavior.  Type A people because they are so competitive they will do anything to get to the top which means the Insular views grow faster.  

One thing I learned is waiting for change is more frustrating than just moving on.  Some who are Insular will show a steady decline, than no different than that hype competitive person is point the blame on other things, and not on themselves that they focused on something that most of us don’t care about.

adjective: insular
  1. 1.
    ignorant of or uninterested in cultures, ideas, or peoples outside one's own experience.
    "a stubbornly insular farming people"
    antonyms: broad-mindedtolerant