When he left the company he had founded at the height of his success, he didn’t think he would have to return to the forefront to prevent Dell’s collapse. Curious and very shy as a teenager, he became a great entrepreneur. Michael Dell has built an empire of information technology, the largest computer building company ever.
In his insane climb, there were moments of difficulty for him. He had to overcome two obstacles: one personal and the other corporate. In the first case, his wife was the point of reference.
But, it’s because he learned an incredible lesson that he became the man he is. Making Dell PC history.
Keep reading, as I later explain why his story is an extraordinary lesson. You can also share it with your friends.
Dell had a turnover of $92 billion in 2020. With a positive net income of around $4.5 billion, after a loss of over $2 billion in 2019.
But, despite the value and importance of this company, I decided to tell you this story because Dell is linked to its founder and his story could be a source of inspiration in many ways.
The power of his idea was the driving force behind everything else…
Curiosity makes us do very powerful things, it helped Michael discover the secrets of the computer.
He was born in 1965 in Houston. It was at the age of 15 that he received an Apple 2 as a gift. From that moment on, computer science has never ceased to fascinate him.
He started taking it apart, studying it and understanding how it worked.
In college he puts his talent into practice: he began building computers, selling them to interested people, and then gave customer support at affordable prices.
He immediately learned the art of trading and doing business.
But this was not his first encounter with the world of work.
In fact, Michael started working as a dishwasher at the age of twelve in a Chinese restaurant. So he could save money for his stamp collection.
However, it was in college that he found a niche he has never left.
“In 1984, in his room in the Dobie Center university residence and with only $ 1000 of capital to invest, Michael, set up his own computer company, called PC’s Limited.”
He understood this was his path, so he finds the courage to leave the university to throw himself completely into his computer company.
His parents disagree, so he shows them the financial statements to make them understand that it was a business that deserved to be developed. But they still disagree.
Despite everything, he does not let himself be intimidated. On the contrary, he asks his grandparents for a loan. And thanks to that money his business expands.
PC’s Limited, transforming it first into the Dell Computer Corporation and then into the one we still know today: Dell, Inc.
A business started in a dorm room and quickly blossomed into a computer company.
In 1992, just eight years later, Michael Dell was the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
At the time, the PC world was still young. Michael realized something very important: no company had tried to sell directly to customers.
Instead, he skipped the middlemen: he built the computers and then sold them directly to people, his first customers were people he knew in college.
In 1988 – Michael Dell was 23 – the company went public and raised $ 30 million.
“By 2000, Dell was already a billionaire and his company had offices in 34 countries with more than 35,000 employees.”
The following year, it overtook Compaq Computer as the world’s largest PC manufacturer.
Overall, Dell’s first 20 years of operation showed that it was one of the most successful companies in the world, surprising titans like Wal-Mart and General Electric.
Dell’s story was recognized as so compelling that, in 1999, it was written and published in a best-selling book chronicling Dell’s success.
Because he was also a visionary who welcomed the web with enthusiasm. He had once again managed to be a visionary and rode the wave of change.
In fact, in 1996 he began to collect the first online orders. Yet many in the business community were doubtful and wary.
By the end of the decade, they would all change their minds, seeing that Dell’s daily online sales were about $ 18 million.
In 2004 Dell stepped down as CEO and CEO of the company but continued to serve as chairman of the board.
In the years after this absence, however, not everything went well for his company. Subsequent carelessness about building computers resulted in the company losing $300 million in repairing defective machines.
Thus, Dell lost its position at the top of the information technology sector. In an effort to correct these errors, Dell returned to the role of CEO in 2007.
He had the strength, the desire, and the bravery; to get back in the game and try to correct the situation. He did it well because he is a winner.
Dell not only returns to the forefront. He tames the beast.
Here is the first lesson. He is a person who can step outside his comfort zone.
“The comfort zone is when we do things that we are used to doing and they are good for us. To be able to obtain better results, or to face challenges that we had not planned, we need to learn how to get out of our comfort zone “.
It is in the actions that are more tiring and boring, less confident, that change you, are where improvements can be found.
It was a struggle for him to go back to driving Dell. Yet, he also had the ability to renew the company.
He moved from computers to the world of software, new electronic devices, and services dedicated to companies.
In 2013, it’s his idea to buy back the shares and make the company private. The operation was successful and Michael Dell with Silver Lake Partners was able to buy them back.
Finally, in 2016 Dell acquired EMC, a storage company, for approximately $67 billion.
This is one of the largest acquisitions in the history of computing.
Another major change in Michael is his character. Perhaps this challenge was even tougher.
He was extremely reserved and withdrawn. So Dell came out of his shell thanks to the support of his wife Susan whom he married in 1989 (they had four children).
As Dell and his wife become less introverted, they begin to spread their wealth.
– In 1999, the couple founded the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, donating several million to tsunami victims in South Asia.
– In 2006, the foundation donated $ 50 million to the University of Texas.
Finally, he served on the board of trustees of the World Economic Forum and on the executive committee of the International Business Council.
“The second lesson is sometimes we have aspects of our character that need to be recognized and changed. Improving them will make us more efficient at work or in interpersonal relationships “.
They are blind spots in us that we are not always able to perceive. How do you do this?
Listen to whoever is next to you and whom you trust. It can be a partner. A work colleague. A brother or a sister. You know yourself better than others.
If you have the courage to face reality, which often bothers you, you can take a leap forward. Obviously, not all of us need to review our character. Not even a little.
But it often happens. Michael did it and in addition to becoming a billionaire, he also made a lot of people happy with his philanthropy. Yet, he could have done it even earlier. But, his way of thinking, being introverted and shy, prevented him.
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