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Monday, Oct. 8, 2007 at 8:11 am

Michael Dell’s Lousy Investment Advice

By Jeffrey Eisenberg
October 8th, 2007

“What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Michael Dell said that about Apple 10 years ago.

Pretty, pretty…bad advice!

Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports:

Apple’s (AAPL) market capitalization today is more than double that of Dell (DELL):

Apple: $140.4 billion

Dell: $62.27 billion

But don’t shed a tear for Micheal Dell. According to a list of the 400 wealthiest Americans published last month, his net worth is more than triple Steve Jobs’.

Michael Dell: $15.5 billion

Steve Jobs: $4.9 billion

I’m not crying for either one but I just finished syncing my iPod with my MacBookPro. Apple marketing is brilliant but the company is very far from perfect. Apple’s brand is eroding and it missed a huge opportunity to make more headway into the business market because it insists on pursuing a broken distribution model.

Are you a better fortune teller than Michael Dell? Please let us know where you think Apple and Dell will be in 2017.

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Comments (5)

  1. I’m terrible as a fortune teller, but my iPod synchs perfectly with my Dell laptop.

    About a month ago I poured a cup of coffee into my Dell. It went instantly dead. (Prefers decaf?)

    Dell replaced it under warrantee.

    I’ve never owned a Mac, but my friends do, and rave about ‘em. Does anyone know, does a Mac warrantee cover clumsy owners?

  2. I’ll make the prediction if you can tell me what’s Dell’s big competitive advantage? (I’d say differentiator but I’m trying to cut back on marketing speak.)

  3. Ummmmm…I’m drawing a blank Mary

  4. Well, you have to hand it to Apple. They have come back from the brink of disaster to build a very hot brand. I agree, there are cracks in that brand at the moment, especially given their weird insistence on controlling the channel so tightly (they’ve always been like this) and doing things like exclusives to AT&T. But, Dell really doesn’t seem to be an innovator in the same way. They’ve got a killer distribution model in a terrible commodity business.

    15 years from now? Apple will be in the entertainment business and Dell will be absorbed into some Chinese hardware behemoth. Only, I don’t think it’ll take 15 years, unless it takes that long to get Congress to approve sales of American companies to the Chinese.

  5. These are relatively safe and highly liquid investment options. Treasury bills and money market funds are cash equivalents.

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Jeffrey Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark. You can friend him on Facebook.

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