Michael Dell

United States
Born on 23 Feb 1965
Business Magnate, Investor, Philanthropist, Author


If you had asked me seven or eight years ago whether there is such a thing as a company that's growing too fast, I probably would have said no. All growth is good and you cannot grow a company too fast. But we learned that this is absolutely not true — there is a level of growth that is not only too fast but dangerous and deadly to a company.
I believe that you have to understand the economics of a business before you have a strategy, and you have to understand your strategy before you have a structure. If you get these in the wrong order, you will probably fail.
Another lesson we've learned is that you can't follow the other guys. If you take the approach of saying, «Competitor X has a good business, let's be just like them,» that's not going to create a lot of value...It doesn't mean that we won't borrow good ideas from other companies when we see them, but we're not held to convention and we're not striving to be like other companies...We are building our own path.
One of the struggles many companies face is overcoming the desire to invent everything themselves. Even today, you see a lot of companies falling back on the idea that «my baby's the most beautiful in the world and I'm not going to accept anybody else's.» This can get in the way of logical business thinking.
If you limit a company by its structure or by the people in the company, you will, by definition, limit the full potential of that business. It sounds basic, but a lot of companies don't follow the idea that the structure should be last and not first.


On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."