Andrew Krucoff emails:
My friends and I shot a video for Spiers’ Wall Street blog and I outfitted my good friend Dennis Crowley (founder of Dodgeball.com) in a shirt I made which was inspired by you, of course.
Here’s the photo. Can’t wait for the video….
I blew my Mac power adapter in London. Was sitting under a plasma display at OPA, hooked into one of the only power strips there (London has too few plugs!), trying to get some juice and to blog and I heard a pfffft on the screen and suddenly saw that my power was gone. It so happens that I had an Igo power adapter with me (because I thought I might need it on the plane — belt, suspenders) and so I was OK to operate my Mac, but nothing was charging my batteries. Uh-oh. I whined about this to a few folks and they all wondered whether we were headed into Dell Hell, The Sequel.
Nope. I made an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar from London and went this afternoon. There was a bit of a wait on a Saturday (thanks in great measure to an old lady with a six-year-old Mac ahead of me who stretched a 5-minute question into a 40-minute symphony of repetition), but I had no on-hold Muzak and talked to a nice guy, face-to-face. He replaced my power adapter and showed me how to reset the power management unit and didn’t require me to go through a bit of bureacracy and now all is well.
Take that, Dell.
Yes, Dell’s profit rose in a snapshot but the clouds are gray:
…However, the double-digit growth rate does not portend a return to high growth for the company, the world’s largest seller of PC’s. … The conservative forecast for revenue growth dimmed analysts’ enthusiasm. “It was really a mixed bag,” said William Shope, an analyst with J. P. Morgan. “Impressive revenue growth came with a degradation of margins.” Dell’s gross profit margin was 17.8 percent, the lowest since 2002, said Mr. Shope. “The slowing growth and deteriorating margins could mean that 2006 will be a more challenging year than 2005 was,” said Brent Bracelin, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Ore.
You can grow too big. And being the biggest isn’t the only way to make money. Sometimes, being the best still is.
Apple is now worth more than Dell.
Dell makes a lot more computers. But they are worth a lot less.
Apple makes better computers. And that is worth much more. Even Wall Street figured that out. MacDailyNews reports [via my son]:
On October 6, 1997, in response to the question of what he’d do if he was in charge of Apple Computer, Dell founder and then CEO Michael Dell stood before a crowd of several thousand IT executives and answered flippantly, “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”
A little more than a month later, on November 10, 1997, new Apple iCEO Steve Jobs responded, speaking in front of an image of Michael Dell’s bulls-eye covered face, “We’re coming after you, you’re in our sights.”
Today, after a little more than eight years of hard work, Apple Computer, Inc. passed Dell, Inc. in market value. That’s right, at market close Apple Computer ($72,132,428,843) is now worth more than Dell ($71,970,702,760).
I told you to sell.
Ed Moltzen reports on Dell and the bloggers, following up on Engadget’s report that the topic of unhappy customers with blogs came up during Dell’s Q&A with the press.
Michael Dell says complaints by bloggers about his company’s customer service are as bad as any other complaint. And don’t expect him to start blogging, either….
But what about bloggers, who have ravaged the company with bad customer service reviews for the past several months while Dell has done little or nothing publicly to counter all the negative publicity? Has he rethought how Dell views the blogosphere?
“We don’t want anyone to have a bad experience, whether they are a blogger or anyone else,” Dell responded….
But Dell himself seemed perplexed when asked whether he, Michael Dell, would actually start a blog (as have Sun President Jonathan Schwartz, Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who blogs internally behind a company firewall, and hundreds of employees of IBM and Microsoft.)
Dell shook his head and said he makes his views known to people inside his company “using a variety of different methods.”
So, too, do bloggers.
I emailed Ed and asked how aware of the blog belching Dell and company are. Ed replied that after a lot of talk about how satisfied Dell customers are…
I then reminded him that there is a vocal group of customers, bloggers, who have been criticizing Dell for months and asked him if that changed his thoughts, opinion or strategy in any way.
He answered with the quote I provided, and an extended explanation of what he’s doing to improve customer service.
My sense is that he wasn’t very familiar with the groundswell of complaints from the blogosphere.