From College Dorm Room to Brand Name
Cramped space, dirty laundry and a roommate practicing drums at 3:00 am. Room 2713 of the Doobie Center residential building at the University of Texas was the room that started it all for Michael Dell, who founded Dell Technologies. He put together and sold upgraded personal computers, winning bids by bypassing middlemen to directly sell to customers.
He grossed nearly $200,000 in profit in his first year, while still in college. In 1984, his first full year in business, he earned $6 million in sales. He was 19. The business continued to flourish until the 2000s when things took a turn for the worse. Dell’s business model, contingent producing and selling on low-end computers, caught up to them as poorly built computers became a problem. Dell could not keep up with competitors, who by then could also rely on cheap manufacturing costs and direct-to-consumer sales. Employees were aware of this. Dell lost the top spot in the industry and took a major hit to its reputation. Michael Dell went on, becoming CEO once again and pivoting to Dell 2.0 by taking a streamlined approach to operations at the company.
In 2013, he took the business private once again in the largest buyout since the depression – a 23 billion-dollar endeavor. Whether it’s facilitating Dell 2.0 or planning to take the company public again in the late 2010s, Michael Dell continues to successfully navigate through challenges by taking shrewd measures to ensure continued success.