Reminder: Giving a talk at Harvard Business School this week

This is a reminder that I’ll be speaking at the Harvard Business School Technology and Operations Management Digital Seminar Series on ”The evolution of value chains in a computing markets measured in the billions of units per year.”

For the abstract see this post.

When: It’s taking place at 3:00 PM on Thursday March 7th.

Who can attend: The talk is open to the public, seating is limited.

Location: The Cotting House on the campus of the Harvard Business School (map linked), Boston. There is parking in the main lot with entrance across from the Harvard Stadium for $14/day.


  • Any idea what limited seating means? I plan to drive in, but will be disappointed if there are no seats…

  • Horace’s talk at Harvard was excellent as we would have expected. The discussion was on Apple’s capital expenditures. If you have read his blog posts on the topic you have the gist of the discussion. Horace pointed out that Apple’s manufacturing tooling purchases, for Samsung’s foundries, on Apple’s behalf may have provided a signal for Samsung to ramp up their own smartphone production. Obviously this was a signal that no other competitors had.

    In essence Apple helped create its most formidable competitor. Interestingly Google, with Android, was instrumental as well. Where would Samsung be without Apple or Google? Fortunately, Apple realized what was happening before it was too late. Otherwise, Apple would have become another Dell.

    The question is where does Apple go from here? It’s quite obvious that their semiconductor relationship with Samsung must be significantly reduced. Horace suggested that Apple should buy TSMC or Intel. I would think there may be some political issues preventing a TSMC purchase. Also I’m fairly certain that Apple wouldn’t want an Apple owned Intel supplying processors to the rest of the industry. So, I’m not sure if the Justice department would go for an Intel purchase

    Therefore, a very deep strategic relationship with TSMC may be their only alternative. A deep relationship with Intel relationship would simply be repeating the mistake with Samsung.

    I would love to see Apple drop a wad of cash in TSMC. That would be a great source for some of their off shore cash.

  • Good summary, TrendRida, and good questions/comments in the actual discussion too.

    The most interesting take-away message for me was that, if access to manufacturing capabilities for key components/processes is really the key choke-point for the future of the industry, where does that leave players like Amazon, which have integrated into hardware and produced a great product, but have no critical supplier agreements at that scale nor cash (or motivation, really) to acquire them?

    Separately, if interested, here’s a post I wrote on Samsung’s history of forward-integrating to compete with customers:

    • John, Thanks for the kind words and thanks for sharing your post on Samsung.

      IMO, Amazon doesn’t have the financial capacity to be a serious player and I wonder how far down the manufacturing path Google and Microsoft wants to go. Google still needs to figure out what it has with Motorola.

      It would be interesting to see Intel go after RIM – software, hardware and manufacturing. Seems to be a fairly low risk strategy especially with RIM struggling to remain relevant.

      It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out…

  • Mathias Anderson

    Will it be possible to review this lecture in Perspective format and if so when?

  • You can download Horace’s presentation as a padcast at