We have been lucky enough to meet with a number of Dell’s most senior people during the last six months, including Marius Haas, Brian Humphries, Tarkan Maner, Laurent Binnetti, Bill O’Shea and many others. We were always hoping that a meeting with the man himself would happen, and somewhat ahead of schedule I had the pleasure of dinner with Michael Dell last week.
In 1999 Michael Dell wrote his book “Direct from Dell”. He was 34 and one of the most recognised people on the planet. Back then Dell was just 15 years old, in May 2014 Dell will be 30 and I suggest that Michael Dell’s second book should be entitled “Indirect from Dell.”
The Dell story is certainly based on the “American dream”; an idea that started in Michael Dell’s university dorm grew to become a global multi-billion dollar business. Then it runs into challenges, (which global player hasn’t?) and then 6 years ago Dell decided to build a channel business. That’s not part of the “Direct from Dell” story, how Dell must have agonised over that decision, it is a dramatic change in direction and in a sense strikes a blow to the very reason so many people loved Dell.