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September 05, 2008


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Adam Taft

Maybe I'm feeling argumentative today, but I guess I missed Dell's funeral announcement. Everywhere I go, all I see is Dell and Mac, and maybe rarely HP.

Is Dell going for a tough ride? Sure, but don't all companies? I tend to believe that in a free market, no single company can ever hold a perfect position (like Dell's former) over the long haul. There's just too much competitive pressure, and too much at stake for making a small misstep.

But, to basically suggest that Dell is done for is about the same as suggesting that Microsoft is done for, or GM, or any other formerly disruptive company.

I think you're right though; Dell probably missed the original conversion from desktop to laptop. They also probably missed the market change from massive to limited configuration options (due to hardware/performance stabilization). But, Dell is still a Lean (big L) company (even if outsourcing their production), and I just can't imagine discounting them at this point. They are not going to be the next Kodak.


Don't get me wrong. I actually agree with you--Dell has a lot going for it. It's the old business model that will die with the factories--a good thing, I might add. The company has too many good people and too much brand equity to fade into the sunset. But selling the factories is simply an acknowledgement from Dell that there is no longer a competitive advantage to the old integration model that controlled ordering, manufacturing and distribution. And my point being that Dell was much too slow to recognize this, encumbered by the vestiges of its past success.

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