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Giving Credit When Credit Is Due

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Most CEOs success stories started with an entrepreneur, an idea, and a business loan. Michael Dell (Dell, Founder and CEO) and Andy Grove (Intel, Cofounder and CEO) success’ stories were no exception. Michael Dell launched his company in 1984 with a unique business model known as” mass customization” (Krames, 2003, p 59) or a “one-to-one” (Krames, 2003, p 59) between customers and company. The company delivered what the customers exactly want with “rock-bottom prices” (krames, 2003, p.59). With no margin paid to distributer or middleman. Dell increased customer savings while keeping a healthy profit margin. Dell’s business success continue to grow, four years later the company went public and Michael Dell at age 27 was named the “Youngest CEO” of a Fortune 500 Company.
The second CEO and cofounder of Intel Andy Grove and other two engineers launched their company in 1968 with the invention of microprocessor that revolutionized the industry. Andy Grove dominated the market with little or no competition until 1984 when a Japanese company which provided the same products took over the market by lowering their prices, after trying almost everything, Andy Grove and his top managers decided to leave of the memory chip business and switch to solely microprocessors ship. They went on to build the world’s largest chip-making business (Krames, 2003, p 135)
Along the way, both CEOs faced some challenges. In 1980 Andy Grove had to make a crucial decision when he decided it is time for the company to make drastic change by getting out of memory ship business completely and get in to microprocessors as he called it “strategic inflection Point” (Krames, 2003, p 141).
Also in 1994 when Intel’s much anticipated platinum ship has a minor design error, Andy Grove chose to replace every ship that had been made faulty, the cost was a half a billion dollars (Krames, 2003, p 141). Michael Dell learned a costly lesson in 1989 when his company introduced a new line of products called “Olympic” that failed miserably. The second lesson was in 2001 when he cut prices due to a recession that hit the computer industry hard (Krames, 2003, p 63). In reading the two CEOs stories, it is evident that both succeeded. I think it is a valuable learning experience for us to take a close look at their journeys to compare and contrast what kind of resistances were they faced with or what factors impacted their success?
From a strategic, business point of view, each one has different philosophy; Michael Dell believed in the customer’s engagement at a very early stage and he also liked to get everyone in the company involved in the decision- making. He did not believe in developing or experimenting with new products. On the other hand, Andy Grove encourages the company’s engineers to develop new products and new technology. Also his decisions were made after consulting his executive managers. Of course both CEOs kept very close eye on the competition. They also knew the importance of suggestions collected from customers to improve their company products and services. More over the Internet was a valuable tool for both CEOs: I believe, however that Michael Dell used it more effectively in selling, gathering data and feedback from his customers. In early 2002 Dell was ranking between 60 and 70 millions of sale over the Internet on a daily basis (Krames, 2003, p 65). There is no doubt that many factors impacted both leaders; they have a great deal of personal strength and business leadership qualities. The need for an invention of memory chip that can be used to make computers or any other gizmo (Krames, 2003, p136) played big roll for Andy Grove to dominate the chip market for years. On the other hand, introducing a new way to customize your own computer and buying it direct from the main company online and at low price has had a great impact on Michael Dell’s success by accomplishing two goals: first, no inventory backlogs and second, no cash flow problem. Another factor for Michael Dell’ success was the Internet. In his own words “Internet was tailor-made for Dell” (Krames, 2003, p 65).
In conclusion, reading both CEOs professional stories was an inspirational and valuable lesson that we should work hard, smart and we should use our strengths and energy in the right way. We have to keep in mind that a mistake or set back can and will happen and we should deal with it as learning experience. We also should be preparing to deal with drastic changes in our lives by being flexible enough to change directions or acquire new skills to start a different career.

References
Kramars (2003), What The Best CEOs Know, Chapter 2 (p 55-77), Place The Customer At The Epicenter Of The Business Model. Chapter 5 (p 131-152), Prepare The Organization For Drastic Change.…...

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