But as usual, Dell is looking ahead. Wielding its ruthlesslow-margin game as a strategy to seize market share in new terrainlike storage and mobility, and in new markets overseas, Dellcontinues to test its flexible, speedy style. American Way talkedto the Austin entrepreneur about what the future holds, and why hisfast-breaking culture is so envied.
American Way: Everyone likes to talk about your corporateculture. How do you describe your corporate culture?
Dell: Our culture is agile, results-oriented, it setsaggressive goals for itself, it's challenging, it's internally veryself-critical. We don't spend a lot of time congratulatingourselves for things that have happened. We spend most of our timethinking about what we are going to do in the future to improvethings and make them better. We continue to set higher and higherstandards.
AW: How do you keep that mindset at this huge company? How hasyour start-up mentality changed as your company has grown?
Dell: You can't make all your decisions in the center of yourcompany. Those days were over about 15 years ago. Basically, whatyou have to do is have a clear strategy, a framework for decisions,and almost a philosophy for ideas and strategies that can permeatemany different kinds of businesses [around the company].
What I spend my time on and what the people in the center of thecompany spend their time on, is to work the strategy - what are wetrying to accomplish? We don't know anything about how to go afterthe market in a faraway country. We have a strategy. But there is ateam there that knows the market much better than we do. They havethe accountability, some assets, and resources from the company,but they also know what the framework for success is and cancompare themselves to other Dell businesses around the world. Thathas worked well for us.
AW: Where is Dell going with its businessgeographically?