Insert byte joke here

Business Week starts a blog about Apple… and the first post is about Dell. It’s been eight years since Michael Dell was asked after a speech at a Gartner conference in Orlando what he would do if he were in charge of Apple Computer. His answer: Shut the company down and give the money back to shareholders.

Now remember these were the days before the iMac, the iPod, and OS X. Apple was typically described with adjectives like “beleaguered” and phrases like “on the ropes.” Steve Jobs was only about two months into his time as “interim CEO” and had inherited a big stack of challenges from Gil Amelio.

What a difference eight years can make. That’s what I thought when I saw the news that Dell Computer had warned for the second quarter in a row that its revenue and earnings will fall short of expectations. Now that it’s approaching $60 billion in sales, its finding growth isn’t so easy.
As we are required by blog law to say at moments such as this: Heh

: Glad to see the Apple blog. Just one request: Add a blogroll to the many other good Apple blogs out there, each from a different perspective. Or add a feed of their headlines. Start here (where they should also add such a blogroll). And yes, I know, I’m a fine one to speak: What happened to my blogroll? I’m just disorganized, lazy, and overworked; I’ll get to it.

  • Rob

    It’s interesting, Jeff. I was at the dog park last night here in Austin, walking along with some other random dog owners, and I heard this:

    “I hear Dell laid off a bunch of peolpe.”

    “Yeah, their numbers came in short.”

    “Well it’s probably because of their crappy service! People just aren’t buying their trash anymore!”

    “Yeah, the world moves on internet time now. You just can’t have crappy service and plan to do something about it a couple of quarters down the road. Some guy writes you up on his blog and the whole world finds out you suck.”

    I’d say your work here is done. Dell faces a long and bumpy road to regain their image as a maker of good, solid, inexpensive hardware. The shame of it is that they squandered it for a hill of beans.

  • matt

    had a moment of synergy (in reference to your blog) and i think a good first entry for “Squidoo” would be “apple blog / news”. i mean, for jeeper’s sake there is so much stuff out there, a “focus lens” would be a really good idea.

  • pwb

    Dell market cap now $70b vs. $50b for Apple. Not too shabby.

  • Marthirial

    PWB what’s your source? I really would like to read more about those figures.

  • Blogrolls are coming (and in some cases returning) to BusinessWeek blogs shortly. Stay tuned….

  • jeremy

    dell is still better than apple. all your bad experiences are nothing compared to the number of satisfied dell customers throughout the years, just like me. :-)

  • HRC

    Part of Apple’s downfall (years ago) was when it tried to do everything. This was part of the later collapse of Compaq, and now Dell. By trimming the product line when he came back, Jobs stemmed the tide of failures and awakened the sleeping giant that is Apple.

    Part of Dell’s success has been their ability to deliver price point. But they do it with cheap components (that don’t always = quality). Then their service pays for it.

    And Jeremy, it’s not about who’s better. Dell has excellent servers and displays. On the home front and in education, Apple is the rightful owner. Both can play nicely in their own markets.