High Output Management — Andrew S. Grove

This classic management book starts off with two confusing and underwhelming chapters, but ends up being one of the best three management books I have ever read. And I would highly recommend it to any manager.

High Output Management — Andrew S. Grove (1983) — 243 pages

If you run into a book recommendation discussion on Hacker News or with other tech savvy people, chances are, High Output Management will be on the list. Published in 1983, updated in 1995 and revived in 2015 with high prise from Ben Horowitz, this book seems to have an enduring allure and impact on managers and the tech industry in general.

The 47 year old down to earth polymath Andy Grove was already an experienced and successful leader at Intel when he wrote this book. But nobody, probably not even Andy, could have predicted what was yet to come for Intel. Namely the explosion of personal computing and the internet, catapulting Intel into becoming one of the most valuable technology companies in the world. And consequently confirming Andy’s written down theories and practices. That would explain part of the lasting appeal to tech people.

But most of the appeal is in the words itself. Andy has a very direct and practical approach to dissecting hard managerial themes and is crystal clear on what is important and where (and what) the leverage is. Many, many management books have been written since, and even if I think there is room for editing in this book, I still have never read such valuable lessons about management in such a clear and concise manner.


Originally published at Jan van den Berg.