Lenovo, Threadripper Pro, and the Formula for Impressive Success – My Blog

The expertise market is outlined by firms taking large gambles and executing in opposition to near-impossible odds. Dell's acquisition of EMC and then going non-public had been each considered practically inconceivable, however Dell succeeded.

Additional examples are HP's acquisition of a failing Compaq to develop into the then strongest PC firm in the world; IBM's wager on Watson a long time earlier than generative AI grew to become a factor; and now Lenovo mixing components of a comparatively small Asian PC firm with failing IBM models to type what's arguably changing into the strongest world expertise firm and the just one that absolutely blends Japanese and Western expertise ideas into a singular and profitable set of merchandise and providers.

One other current firm success story includes AMD and Threadripper. Threadripper was initially a shopper product and extremely dangerous given its improvement price. As a workstation processor, on paper, it blew away every part else. Nonetheless, workstations are usually constructed for professionals, not on a regular basis customers, making creating knowledgeable workstation from the expertise a really dangerous proposition.

However Lenovo acknowledged that engineers purchase efficiency.

Whereas its then a lot bigger friends refused to take the product as an choice, Lenovo introduced Threadripper workstations to market and nearly in a single day took high-end management in the section. Threadripper Professional adopted, and after final week's launch, Lenovo's friends are chasing Lenovo to the expertise, whereas Intel is chasing, not main, AMD on this high-profile class. Impressive work by each companies.

This week, let's discuss how Lenovo is taking probabilities and grabbing market share. Then, we'll shut with a chat about one other head-mounted show from Rokid that I've been utilizing whereas touring that would type the foundation for a brand new class of cell PC or smartphone experiences.

Danger Tolerance

I've labored with and for firms which are rising and doing nicely and much more firms which are struggling and have misplaced their approach. It's a ton extra enjoyable to work for the former sort of firm than to work with the latter.

What usually defines a profitable firm is that they're each tolerant of failure and keen to take acceptable dangers that others would have thought unreasonable.

I as soon as met with Ford's then-CEO and some analysts who had been extra targeted on automotive than I used to be. I relayed a dialog I'd had with executives at many expertise firms going through highly effective new rivals, saying that if he didn't grasp and embrace what Tesla was doing, he'd probably lose his job. As has principally been the case, each time I've completed this, I used to be shouted down. Round a yr later, he was let go.

It's no enjoyable for me to foretell somebody getting fired and being proper. My private aim is to forestall outcomes like this, not predict them. I convey up the Ford story as a result of he mentioned his large factor was to allow risk-taking at Ford whereas additionally saying if somebody screwed up a significant product, they'd be fired. That's the actual reverse of risk-taking. Whereas Tesla probably takes too many pointless dangers, any automotive CEO would in all probability promote their soul to have Tesla's valuation.

The Magic of Lenovo

I spent the final week with Lenovo. Over the earlier 20 years, it has modified from a small PC firm that nearly nobody had heard of in the West to an organization that's both difficult for or proudly owning management in practically each section it's in.


The AMD Threadripper story is only one of many tales like this the place Lenovo took unbelievable dangers that regarded nuts.

As an illustration, the IBM PC firm struggled till Lenovo purchased it, and now Lenovo has the main share in PCs. Who would have believed {that a} small firm out of Asia might outperform giants like HP and Dell utilizing a device that appeared to IBM as unfixable however wasn't?

Lenovo additionally acquired the IBM Assume model. IBM used to dominate the world expertise market, so how was Lenovo in a position to succeed when IBM wasn't? As a result of IBM wouldn't take the dangers that Lenovo took. Now, Threadripper is a showcase of that risk-taking.

In servers, the IBM x86 server unit underperformed the market, and it wasn't even a whole unit. Even with a profitable unit, doing that sort of merger is way extra prone to fail. However Lenovo rightly realized that it wasn't that the expertise was unhealthy. The truth is, it arguably led the market. It was as a result of the competing IBM Energy unit took the assets that x86 wanted to achieve success.

Turning Dangers Into Management Alternatives

Whereas Lenovo doesn't but lead the server market because it does PCs, it's difficult for management, and the unit is profitable.

Motorola was an excellent bigger threat. Even I assumed Lenovo shopping for that unit was nuts as a result of it was damaged earlier than Google purchased it, and then Google actually destroyed it.

Nonetheless, the model had worth. Motorola as soon as led the cellphone market earlier than Apple did. Lenovo mounted it and is now the solely firm that may really problem Apple with an expertise that, whereas it doesn't but match Apple's, is getting nearer than anybody else has been in a position to get at a usually a lot decrease price.

Any certainly one of these feats would have been inconceivable for nearly some other firm. Doing all three can be unbelievable, however Lenovo did it.

How Lenovo Might Turn into the Subsequent World Powerhouse

Like most tech firms, Lenovo doesn't make investments adequately in advertising. As an illustration, AMD usually outperforms Intel. Nonetheless, although Intel has had clear difficulties, the notion in the market is completely different than the actuality as a result of AMD's advertising is under-resourced.

Had been Lenovo to take yet another idea from IBM, I consider no competitor, together with Apple, might contact it. That idea is Lou Gerstner's distinctive deal with advertising. Gerstner was the solely non-IBM CEO the firm ever had, and he didn't get expertise in any respect. Nevertheless, popping out of a advertising powerhouse like Nabisco, Gerstner was a advertising grasp, and, like Steve Jobs, who had a considerably comparable ability set, Gerstner understood that notion all the time trumps actuality.


Steve Jobs was in a position to save Apple by convincing the market that merchandise that had been crap had been price shopping for, permitting Apple to outlive till he might repair the product strains. Gerstner took IBM from an organization that was arguably in worse form than Apple and saved it by making folks see worth earlier than the firm might present it.

Having studied each males, Gerstner was stronger in advertising expertise than Jobs, whereas Jobs was much more personally influential than Gerstner. It's my perception you may duplicate what Gerstner did, however you want a really harmful ability set to do what Jobs did. I see that hazard in Elon Musk, who has an analogous ability set as Jobs and, for my part, showcases the draw back much more than Jobs did by abusing his energy of affect.

Wrapping Up

Lenovo's execution is spectacular, and its willingness to each take dangers and correctly fund and useful resource its efforts is market-leading. Nevertheless, had been Lenovo to simply take yet another lesson from the solely non-IBM CEO that IBM ever had, it might develop into an unmatched pressure in the market by combining the energy of excellent advertising with its spectacular merchandise and options.

Sadly, nice merchandise and advertising hardly ever coexist, depriving us of the excellent storm that would happen if perceptions aligned with actuality. The preliminary iPhone, IBM's restoration, and Home windows 95 had been examples of sturdy advertising and weak merchandise. But, as the merchandise improved, sturdy advertising was nearly eradicated.

AMD and Lenovo showcase the reverse with very sturdy merchandise however weak advertising. Whereas I feel Apple underneath Jobs and Intel underneath Grove (Intel Inside) nonetheless come the closest to this preferrred, I'm nonetheless ready for that excellent storm of excellent merchandise AND superb advertising.

Rokid Max AR Glasses

(Picture Credit score: Rokid)

On my newest enterprise journey to Lenovo, I've been utilizing the Rokid Max AR Glasses, and they're superb.

I've additionally been utilizing the Goovis 3G head-mounted show that I featured in July, and I'm impressed with each merchandise.

The Goovis product is way extra isolating. It really works greatest whenever you need solitude or are exterior in brilliant daylight and away from folks, so the isolation doesn't make you nervous. Or, if you're in a window seat on a airplane and don't have people bumping into you or asking you to maneuver, which is admittedly annoying with the Goovis however not as a lot with the Rokid glasses.

So, for areas the place there are folks round you or the place you wish to see the keyboard whereas typing, the Rokid works higher, and it additionally features as AR glasses, which provides them broader utility. Nevertheless, if you would like an immersive film expertise, the Goovis is stronger.

One other benefit the Rokid has is that it's a lot simpler to hold. The Goovis headset requires a bundle extra according to VR headsets, and it's more durable to pack. The Rokid is extra like a big pair of sun shades in its case, and it's far simpler to pack.

(Video Credit score: Rokid)

Sensible Concerns

I discovered the Rokid glasses very straightforward to make use of. You'll be able to load the app in your smartphone, however you don't really want it, and I don't use an app on the PC. I can flip off the show on my laptop computer, so if I'm watching one thing like "The Boys," which might be problematic on a airplane with youngsters close by, I can take pleasure in the film with out being hit by some child's mum or dad for inappropriate content material.

One draw back to the Rokid is it's worthwhile to put on the glasses low in your nostril to see the complete display, however I obtained used to that shortly — and you solely have to see the menu bar when launching an app or checking the time.

The Rokid price is round $399 for the headset, making it a pretty present as we method the holidays. They've bundles for $499 with a streaming field. Though, I didn't discover that product helpful as a result of you may solely stream with it — and it really works higher with a smartphone or PC anyhow. You'll be able to't obtain films with the streaming field, so it gained't work on automotive or airplane journeys, the place I might most certainly use this product.

In any case, I'm impressed with the Rokid Max, and it's my Product of the Week. Should you get an opportunity, strive one out; it's really spectacular!