MY BEST ... That's easy. It was to sell computer systems direct to the customer, over the internet and telephone rather than through computer reseller companies. When I started Dell, I believed computer-makers using the reseller sales channel were not giving customers what they wanted, and were charging them a lot for the privilege. I felt that dealing with customers direct would be a winning formula, for both customer and company. The direct model offers three big advantages: increased customer contact, faster time-to-market and lower inventory. It makes Dell a nimble firm, ideally placed to understand its customers and deliver on their needs, understand markets and grasp opportunities quickly.
MY WORST ... Our goal is to deliver technology to market that customers want, with a good purchasing and after-sales support experience. The opposite can have a detrimental effect on our business and relationship with customers. At one point, we were going to launch a product initiative code-named Olympic that promised to do pretty much everything. It contained some great technology, more than our customers wanted - technology for technology's sake. We soon found out we'd taken a wrong turn - our customers told us. If we'd consulted them before going ahead with the project, as we have done ever since, we'd have saved a lot of time and money.