Yes, I am amused in a smug way about Dell suddenly discovering that it has problems. See this story at Investor’s Business Daily, which mentions my Dell hell, and today’s New York Times reports on efforts to turn around the bilge-filled barge by finally adding customer service people. The brand is badly tarnished and a few PR efforts won’t fix that. I’m not sure what would. This week’s Business Week innovation special (sorry, can’t find the direct link online) has a simple chart showing the stock performance of the S&P 500 against stocks of companies with reputations for customer care: Starbucks, Target, and an airline (to be named later when I can find the damned link, if it exists) far outperformed the market. It’s so damned obvious: Serve your customers and win. Screw your customers and lose. The mob storming castle Dell was the surest leading indicator of problems at that company and Dell’s executives and analysts were blind fools if they didn’t see it.