Say That Again

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
consumers, michael dell


Michael Dell Recognizes Blocking What Customers Want To Protect Your Own Biz Model Is Dumb

from the smart-man dept

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.

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  1. identicon
    Jake, 16 Oct 2009 @ 5:22am

    Re: Netbooks

    Netbooks have a reputation for being slow and crappy. This reputation is an entirely arbitrary consequences of Microsoft's attempt to rig the game.
    It's also, based on my own experience, totally unjustified. I wouldn't try using Photoshop, editing 3D graphics or playing Crysis on one, but they were never really designed for that. For getting your email and typing up some sales report or homework assignment on a train or in a cafe, however, they're perfect; 1GB of RAM is actually overkill for that sort of role, and they're also cheap enough that having one go missing or get trashed isn't a bank-breaking disaster.

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