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Intel's Grove talks Internet shop

Chairman Andy Grove offers humorous commentary as well as serious insight during an interview on the challenges and successes of the Internet.

Intel's Andy Grove offered humorous commentary as well as serious insight during an interview on the challenges and successes of the Internet at Stanford University on Thursday evening.

Grove sat down for a question-and-answer session with Wired magazine special correspondent John Heilemann, who recently wrote an article about Grove that will be the magazine's June cover story.

 Listen to Intel Chairman Andy Grove in an exclusive broadcast of his speech at Stanford University given Thursday.

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The session was part of the Wired Speaker Series at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

The 64-year-old chairman of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker kept the crowd laughing, offering humorous one-liners on the fate of Internet companies and the hype surrounding the "New Economy."

In the end, however, Grove's message was straightforward: despite the recent market downturn, companies based on sound principles will last--and he's confident that even a few Internet companies will survive. The companies that did not succeed, Grove added, still offered examples of the potential of the Internet and brought those ideas to the attention of many established companies.

"The boom (and following bust) was healthy because the infrastructure depended on hundreds of billions of dollars in investments that ordinarily would not have been available for these Internet business models...the money may be gone but the infrastructure is there," Grove said.

Grove also talked about the Internet as improving and streamlining the difficult task of maintaining customer relationships, a development which he called "borderline revolutionary." was used as one example of a company that has made great strides in using the Internet to foster better customer relations.

"Amazon brings back the customer awareness or familiarity from the general stores of the past that gave you that personal treatment," Grove said.

When asked if he had any advice for Amazon, Grove said, "I would get out of barbecue grills." Grove joked that running is the job that he would most want now.

Grove also predicted that the Internet will have a bigger effect in "practical terms" in the next five years than in the previous five, but added that in financial investments, the Internet is "way ahead (of itself), which is part of the problem."

Grove received his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley where he taught for six years. He currently teaches at Stanford's Graduate School of Business.