Intel hiring more than 100 anthropologists and other social scientists [MIT Technology Review]
Why is Intel, the giant chip maker, in the process of hiring more than 100 anthropologists and other social scientists to work side by side with its engineers? While the success of this strategy will become clearer over the next 12 to 18 months, it’s obvious Intel is betting that sales will rise and new markets will emerge because of this nonintuitive pairing.
Intel has already released several products shaped by anthropological research. According to Pat Gelsinger, a senior vice president at Intel, the company will have a number of other offerings during 2006 and 2007 that came out of work by anthropologists, and he thinks the company will see significant revenue streams from these new products by the end of 2007.
Furthermore, Gelsinger emphasizes that the impact of these new scientists has been more than just in tactical product development: they’ve also played a key role in long-term strategic planning.