Samsung may have the right balance of long term planning and government support. Intel has too little and China too much.
The interesting bit to me is how the Samsung vs. Intel competition will shape industry dynamics in the new decade. Mobile will be a head on collision for the two.
I have no doubt that many companies would like to have a serious long-term plan that looks toward a more gradual and controlled upward growth, and ditch feast and famine cycles we all live through every few years. The problem is the investment community wants a return on their investments "yesterday". It's reached the point where even when a company posts a quarterly profit, it's not as much as the investors anticipated so their stock values drop like a rock.
Feory has it absolutely right!
I used to work for Intel many years ago marketing Intel's processors and memory to companies in the Far East. In Korea at that time, many companies had strategic 5-year plans, very similar to the 5-year economic plans in Communist countries. The key difference was that specific business segments, such as color TV, or appliances, etc. were targets with very specific metrics as to whether or not objectives were achieved. I know, as I was able to read the plans of Samsung, Lucky and Goldstar (now LG and LG Electronics), and others. At that time, the plans were a source of pride and were also shown to induce us to do business with them. Now, I am sure they are quite secret.
The Korean government also "encouraged" the plans as a means of reducing Korea Won outflow as well as increasing import tax revenue.
Unless US companies take a very serious long term view of their business and investments, and have the guts to stick with a rational plan, we will see more such achievements.
Whether Samsung surpasses Intel or not, their growth and level of investment throughout the last decade have been phenomenal.
Samsung is a great example of a company with a long-term vision and the patience needed to win in the market. With no disrespect meant to Intel, U.S. companies in general have too much focus on quarterly earnings and stock price fluctuations. For that reason alone, it is difficult to imagine that any U.S. company could achieve what Samsung has achieved in the last decade, and not only in their semiconductor business.
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