Web Summit: ‘My little start-up has had revenues of more than $900 billion’

Michael Dell on growing the PC maker from college dorm room to billion dollar company

 Michael Dell: ‘My little start-up has had revenues of more than $900 billion’.  Photo: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Michael Dell: ‘My little start-up has had revenues of more than $900 billion’. Photo: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Michael Dell just sealed the biggest deal in tech history, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots.

“I started this adventure in my dorm room with $1,000 and so far it’s going pretty well. My little start-up has had revenues of more than $900 billion since we started so we are going to have a $1 trillion fairly soon,” he told the Web Summit yesterday.

It was the Dell founder’s first public appearance since agreeing to acquire data storage maker EMC for $67 billion.

Whether that proves to be a good deal or not, only time will tell, but Dell was happy to take the risk.

“[The] reality is we can’t be sure, [but]that’s how markets are made,” Dell said, adding that he is “happy to take on the risk and perfectly happy to take on a path that is different from others. I have been living my whole life that way.”

“I’m not afraid of risk, you have to embrace risk to grow. But if you also think about the strategic context, the two businesses are highly complementary,” he said.

He also the PC business wasn’t going away any time soon.

“There are 1.8 billion PCs in the world,” said Dell. “Six hundred million of those are more than four years old and will probably be replaced … we want to sell you those.”

Asked to offer some advice to the assembled start-ups and entrepreneurs, Dell said: “Don’t be afraid to fail, be fearless. I would say, if you find a problem, you want to fix it as fast as you find it. You’re potential is probably far greater than you’ve experienced, if you find a way to throw yourself into challenging situations, you can probably achieve way more than you ever imagined.”