This week, I was invited to an NVTC event in McLean, VA where Michael Dell was speaking. It was interesting to hear that in 1983, while he was a freshman, he noticed an opportunity to sell computers for less. He saw that when you bought a PC for $3,000, there was about $600 worth of parts in it. During college, he operated a business out of college dorm room had had people bring him their computers and he would put in some memory or a disk drive. By doing this inexpensively and giving customers exactly what they needed, he made close to $25,000 a month. Dell continued to sell directly to customers with his own company soon afterward and quickly made $6 million.
This background is fascinating given that Dell Computers is now on its way to becoming a $60 billion-dollar company. A few things struck me about Michael Dell. He, obviously, had a tremendous amount of dedication to his vision. Despite all of the economic fluctuations, major changes in technology, and a savvy yet ever-changing landscape of shoppers, he thrived due to his ability to adapt.
As more and more entrepreneurs create online businesses, It is good to keep in mind that if you understand your customer’s needs and remain committed to your company, you have a chance at being successful too.