The Success of Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell, Inc.
Even at age 47, Michael Saul Dell is a known figure throughout the world. In 1992, he was the youngest CEO running a Fortune 500 company and this year, he became the 41st richest person in the world (Forbes, 2012). Behind this figure stands a giant corporation – Dell, Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of personal computers. When it comes to discussions of how Dell transformed from a dorm room headquartered company to the world’s third largest PC vendor, debates often evolve around the topic of opportunistic timely investment. However, a deeper glance at Michael Dell’s career development points out three key characteristics that offer a better explanation of how and why Michael Dell achieved fame.
First, Dell continued developing mechanical skills for making computers. Since the earlier years, Dell expressed fascination for computers. His first exposure to computers was working with a data processor in junior high school and later he worked with computers at the local Radio Shack store (Tradii Mary, 2012). At 15, Dell bought his own Apple II computer only to dismantle it to learn the parts and how they operated. Within a year, he was able to upgrade and add new components, thus began the first steps of his computer business.
Dell also possessed entrepreneurship skills which he started to demonstrate starting at age 12. For example, as a habitual stamp collector, he documented rising prices and recognized an opportunity that would earn him more from his sales if he bypassed the auctioneer and sold directly to collectors. In that first venture, Dell made $2,000. At 16, as a newspaper subscription seller, he discovered that newly married couples and newly formed families were more likely to subscribe. Dell obtained several lists of applicants for marriage licenses or mortgage holders and sent them personalized sales letters. That year alone, he made $18,000. In addition, his very first computer business model concept was that a computer sold directly to the customer would revolutionize the industry. At the time, computers were selling for $3,000; however, Dell could purchase computer parts for less than $700 (Tradii Mary, 2012).
Finally, Dell has demonstrated, over the last 28 years, a high level of commitment and concentration on his business model. “One hundred years ago,” writes SUCCESS (1999),
Thomas Alva Edison told SUCCESS magazine that the first requisite of success was the ability to concentrate on a single problem. “If you get up at 7 and go to bed at 11, you have put in 16 good hours, and it is certain with most men that they have been doing something all the time. The only trouble is that they do it about a great many things, and I do it about one.” Dell and Edison are kindred spirits in this regard.
Michael Saul Dell is a famous American business magnate. He had very timely technical and mechanical skills. He could take a computer apart and quickly learn how to improve it. He also had savvy business and entrepreneurship skills which allowed him to observe the market and industry trends to discover his own market niche. Also, he has been committed and conservative to his sole business objective. The aggregate of these factors helped Michael Saul Dell’s enterprise, Dell, Inc., become one of the largest computer vendors in the world.
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