Hello and welcome to another entrepreneur of the month series where we share stories of successful people who took the world of business by storm, as well as, a video to learn about some of their approaches, tips, views and values that contributed to their successful entrepreneurial journeys.
This month, we feature Michael Dell. Founder of the Dell Inc. and an investment company called MSD Capital, Michael has always known what he wanted to do as a child which is to do business. At age 12, he made thousands of dollars selling mail order stamps to stamp collectors. Before that, he washed dishes to save up money to start his mail order business which he worked very hard to accomplish. His knack for business saw him selling newspaper in high school for a newspaper company which netted him $18000 in revenues and bought him his first car- a BMW– paid for fully in cash. His parents wanted him to study medicine but he developed his love for computers at a very young age.
After registering as a premed student at the University of Texas in 1983 to fulfil his parents wish, he had enough time for his new interest in computers. He once bought an Apple computer and tore it apart to study its components. His business side kicked in when he saw a gap in the market, which includes eliminating the middle man and selling directly to customers with a good customer support and at cheaper prices than existing giant PC companies. Since his childhood ambition was to outcompete IBM, he took a huge step to filling this gap, with just $1000 dollars in his pocket, by purchasing old PC computers, reassembling them and then initiating the direct to consumer sales model by gathering data of potential customers and placing a call directly to offer them discounts and a fully customised PC machine according to their needs.
This new approach revolutionised the PC industry and shot DELL Inc. into being the largest PC makers in the world, outselling IBM, HP and Compaq PCs, and made Michael Dell the youngest CEO of a fortune 500 company at just age 27. He always believed technology is about enabling human potentials and his company has diversified from tablets and PCs to infrastructures, softwares and services that power the world’s most complex data centres and cloud computing environments. He is the 35th richest man in the world today according to Forbes with a net-worth of about $22Billion and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon as he recently took over again as the company’s CEO, from his chairman position, to re-strategize and reposition the company for the future. An avid philanthropists with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, he provides support to a variety of global causes such as the tsunami in Southern Asia and to the University of Texas where he dropped out from to start Dell Inc.
Today, I am sharing with us one of his early speeches where he advised on one of the most important thing to do when making a career choice and the two traits that have helped him on his entrepreneurial journey. Find the one minute video below. Happy new month!
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