Michael Dell is the founder of the computer company Dell, Inc. He created one of the most profitable computer companies in the world with annual sales of up to $50 billion American dollars. Dell has also become one of the wealthiest people in the world with a 4th place listing on the Forbes rich Americans list in 2005 with an estimated worth of $18 billion.Michael Saul Dell was born on the 23rd of February, 1965 in Houston to an orthodontist father and a mother that worked as a money manager. Dell was interested in computers from a very young age and was already pulling them apart at the age of 15. He attended the University of Texas with hopes of becoming a doctor. Much to the dismay of his father, he abandoned studies to start his own business at just 19 years of age. The idea struck him when he saw people interested in buying much more advance configurations than were available in the market.
With just one thousand dollars in his pocket Dell started "PC's Limited" in 1984. From his university dorm room Dell started building and selling personal computers from stock computer parts. The idea that set the young entrepreneur apart from others was to sell directly to the customer, rather than going through a third party to sell his products. He is an entrepreneur not just of an organization but also a concept that has changed the way people do hardware business.
Dell pioneered the concept of selling computers directly to consumers, built to their specifications and without the added costs of retail distributors. The idea has proven to be quite profitable, and has been belatedly adopted by other computer makers who are struggling to keep up with Dell Computer Corporation's phenomenal success. By targeting educated consumers (i.e., corporations and government agencies), Dell is able to avoid the expense of heavy investments in building and maintaining retail channel sales and the after-sale burden of supporting unsophisticated users, though the company has a well-deserved reputation for its technical support services. He wisely passes this savings on to consumers, who have returned the favor by becoming repeat customers.
PC's Limited allowed the customer to customize their computer before it was custom built to their specifications. The prices could also be kept much lower than PC's Limited's competition as they had no stores to maintain or middlemen to pay commissions to. All computers were sold direct to the customer with the use of order forms, phone orders, and now Internet orders.
In 1988 PC's Limited had a name change to "Dell Computer Corporation" and had an initial public offering (IPO) that valued the company at roughly $80 million. By 1992 Dell Computer Corporation was listed on the Fortune 500 list of the five hundred largest companies in the world, making Michael Dell the youngest ever CEO to head a Fortune 500 company.
The company continued to grow and expand dramatically year after year, eventually selling more computers in the United States of America than any other PC company (including Compaq). The growth came with its own set of problems. Dell was growing at a frantic pace and it became hard to manage it. Moreover, Dell introduced some advance configurations that were not well taken by the consumers. He then set things right and eventually took his company out of trouble.
"Dell Computer Corporation" became "Dell Inc." as they moved into other areas of business. Dell Inc. now has an expanding product range that includes home entertainment systems and personal devices.
Michael has published his partly autobiographical book "Direct From Dell: Strategies That Revolutionized an Industry". The book is written in an entertaining, fast paced style that explains how Dell turned his $1000 company into a mega-corporation worth more than $100 billion.
Dell stepped down from his role as CEO at Dell Inc. in 2004 but remains the Chairman of the Board.
Michael Dell uses some of his great wealth for philanthropic activities and has started the "Michael and Susan Dell Foundation" with his wife Susan. The organization is committed to improving the lives of children in the United States of America and internationally.