The NYT today has an article about Michael Dell's return to Dell Inc.
They have a big task in front of them. But some are optimistic. Fred is going to give Dell another try. Dell needs to do something different. It cant' be about more efficient manufacturing/logistics/distribution. Those were the reasons in the 90's why Dell was a leader. Now they need a real product strategy. The best looking Windows laptops these days easily belong to Sony. If I was going to ditch Apple, I'd buy this machine. The best corporate Windows laptop is Thinkpad. What is Dell known for these days? Low price consumer computers? Not good enough.
I think my friend Tim could be a secret weapon that many folks don't consider. Tim was the founder/ceo of Zing which Dell recently purchased. Prior to Dell, Tim was the VP of Macintosh Engineering at Apple and ran everything minus the iPod. I had the pleasure of working with Tim at WebTV & Microsoft. Tim is fantastic. He knows how to get cutting edge consumer products out the door, on schedule and under budget. He's been doing it his whole career. I'm sure getting Tim on board was a big motivation behind the Zing deal. Smart.
Speaking of founders coming back to run their companies....
When is Billg going to come back and run Microsoft? Probably never but it seems like Microsoft has lost it's way. Yeah, they do have some great products these days (Xbox 360, Microsoft IPTV is the market leader with telcos worldwide, Windows Mobile is growing, and Microsoft keyboards are the best). On the other hand I don't know what to think about Vista, Zune, that odd coffee table PC thing, paying $6B for Aquantive? MSFT without Bill doesn't feel like MSFT to me.
I think people (customers, market, employees) would love a Bill Gates return to the corner office.
I know I would.