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Local News / Technology

Friday, 13 June, 2008 2:57 AM

The Computer Industry is Changing, Michael Dell says

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Michael Dell at the Detroit Economic Club on June 10, 2008.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

Michael Dell: Part Two Video

Michael Dell: Part Three Video

Michael Dell: Part Four Video

"You have to embrace change; what choice do you have?" - Michael Dell, 43

Dell has been known as the brand to buy for a company. Now, it's changing to be friendly in order to attract younger demographics. "There's a slowdown in the economy," stated Board of Directors' chairman and CEO Michael Dell at yesterday's meeting at the MGM Grand Hotel in downtown Detroit, hosted by the Detroit Economic Club.

"However, we should remember that half of the world's wealth belongs to the United States. Somewhere in the middle, there'll be new ideas and new products." Those "new ideas" and "new products" that the company will be involved in include the Dell 500, which is a 9-inch notebook that is doing well in China. It will be coming out later this year in the U.S.

"We've taken a different approach by making things simple, not complex," Michael said. Turning to technology, he commented, is a way to increase productivity in business companies. "Technology", Michael continued, "is a massive dose for productivity, and companies are using it to restructure and rebuild. As a computer industry, we can see our customers do amazing things our products."

Michael founded the company named after him in 1984 when he was just 19 years old. He only had $1,000 but had an unprecedented idea with, according to Free Press tech and video columnist Mike Wendland (also the moderator of the meeting), "a revoluntionary data". And it wasn't even the mid-1990s -- the birth of the Internet, which "was a rocket fuel" for Dell. But now, how can Dell connect to billions to people that's not connected to the Web in 2008?

"One of our greatest strengths", Michael responded, "is to listen and be in tune with our customers." For instance, there's Ideastorm (www.ideastorm.com), where customers post ideas online and discuss whether they like them or not. As a company with "big ears", Dell will continue to push the envelope and put out devices so people "can hook up".

"It's just the beginning" Michael answers. "The industry is in its formative years. It is in its early years [due to productivity] ... We're kind of entering this connective era, and we still have a long way to go. We got some challenges to attend to."

The presiding officer was Jeffrey Bergeron, office managing partner, Ernst & Young LLP.

 

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo had the opportunity to ask Michael Dell three questions:

Q: What's the one accomplishment that you're most proud of?

A: "I'm very proud as a father. I've got four great kids. Something i'm working on in my life, I mentioned earlier, our foundation. We started out foundation almost 10 years ago and they've done a number of great things in addition to what we've done at Dell. We've got some big goals. We'd like to figure out how to make a bigger impact with our foundation."

Q: At the age of 15, you took apart an Apple II and rebuilt it. What made you do it? Describe the experience.

A: "I was kinda fascinated with machines that could do mathematical calculations. I saved up my money and bought a computer. Took it apart to see how it worked. Wanted to understand every chip, every circuit, every piece of it and see exactly how the thing works. That's how it got me interested in the details of how computer engineering worked."

Q: Apparently, you are a movie star now. You are appearing in a film soon?

A: "That's a real stretch there. Not really sure it's worth mentioning. This is a cameo appearance in a small cult film. In Austin about a sno cone stand. I'm not sure I call that quite movie star status."

 


PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Presiding Officer Jeffrey Bergeron, Moderator Mike Wendland and Michael Dell, Chairman & CEO of Dell Inc.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Wendland is a Technology & Video Columnist for the Detroit Free Press.

 

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