Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Problem With Dell

I worked at Dell helping them launch a new factory. There are several problems with Dell. Things have come to a head with moves to take the company private, one wonders if to hide falling numbers and revenues.

Dell wants to be the small business one stop. It wants to make the IBM model work. But I'm not so sure IBM makes the IBM model work. And that's on the high end fat profit side.

Dell is moving aggressively into the cloud yet it's offerings aren't so memorable.

Dell is suffering from a lack of innovation in a huge way. I felt so bad for them I wrote Michael who I had met at my tenure there and requested a coffee meeting to discuss some ideas for the company. He declined. A really great new computer and new story that differentiates them would make a big splash.

Instead their old vp from India gutted most of their development team and is now busy doing the same for General Motors after gutting AMD. At Dell Hyderabad huge Eight foot tall pictures of Michael Dell tell the workers sayings about being productive and Dell like.

In the end innovation comes from people in free happy spaces, not death by cube land. For a while they can buy companies, but like trees transplanted, the will refuse to flower in the new soil. It's time for Micheal to wake up and get some real creative juices flowing because if not there's really no way to compete with the juggernaut coming from China and Asia. The margins on the PC business have gotten so small for Dell because there is no value add. Moving into new markets may not be the answer because you can't have a staid company innovate and compete at the level that marks the best and brightest of silicon valley.

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