There have been lots of different writeups on Michael Dell's recent Churchill Club talk, with most focusing on his trashing of netbooks
or talking up Windows 7. But at the end of that article there was something even more interesting, which Derek
pointed out to us:
Clark asked Dell about the fact that, through virtualization, many companies end up buying fewer servers, and less hardware in general. "The first thing you have to remember is that any time a new technology comes along that's good for customers, you get in the way of it at your own peril," Dell said.
Indeed. This is a point that so few companies seem to recognize. Instead of focusing on what the customers actually want, they freak out about how it may cause them to sell less of what they currently offer. This is the key in avoiding the innovator's dilemma and marketing myopia. You have to focus on what benefits
the customer actually gets -- and if you try and get in the way of that, they'll just go somewhere else instead. But it's so rare to hear execs actually recognize that point -- so, kudos to Michael Dell for acknowledging it.