This paper will compare and contrast the contributions of Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Computer, and Andy Grove, cofounder and former CEO of Intel. The paper presents each person; talks about their main contributions for their companies, problems they experienced, and their similarities and differences; and concludes by discussing the factors that may have impacted their success. The data for this paper is taken from the book, What the Best CEOs Know; 7 Exceptional Leaders and Their Lessons for Transforming Any Business (Krames, 2003).
Introduction of Professionals and Their Contributions
Michael Dell is the founder and CEO of Dell Computer Corporation. He took Dell Computer public and the stock became “the number one stock of the 1990’s, soaring almost 90,000 percent” (Krames, 2003, p. 58-59). Michael Dell expanded the direct selling model because he believed a very close relationship with the customer and vendor would lead to success. His philosophy basically said, “Managers hoping to create successful brands cannot do it by imposing their own views on the marketplace … there needs to be a mechanism in place whereby the company learns to make the products that its target customers actually want” (Krames, 2003, p. 59). With this philosophy, he built a company that continuously attempts to interact with the customer at as many levels as possible to provide the customer with what they want at the price they want.
Andy Grove is the cofounder and former CEO of Intel. His company was one of the first companies to produce computer chips for personal computers. He credits his success in the constantly changing technology sector with his philosophy of “only the paranoid survive” (Krames, 2003, p. 135). Constant changes in products caused him to reflect, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure” (Krames, 2003, p. 135). Andy Grove talks about strategic inflection points where a change in product or perception can become so great that the entire company is imperiled. He succeeded by encouraging his staff to always question if the company is on the right track and to be vigilant about competition (Krames, 2003, p. 141-143).
Michael Dell started the company selling directly to the customer. He focused a part of the company on each type of customer allowing for more knowledgeable interaction. The resistance he did encounter is when the company strayed from the model and tried to build products the customers did not want.
Andy Grove ran into resistance from outside competitors, which forced him to reevaluate his business products. He ran into resistance again when their perception of...