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July 2006


Leo Bottary

I wouldn't presume to tell Dell ohw to run its business, but I would like to address the "crisis issue" here. I can't tell you how many times a client has made a mistake that affected its customers, and asked, "What do I tell the press?" It's hard to imagine that today, people still don't realize you have to address the victims of your mistake, and tell the press how you're handling the problem. The news media are not a target audience in a time of crisis. They're a communications tool - period.

Scott Miller

"But many people still can't understand the power of focusing."

I think people understand focus for the most part, but the one positioning principle that very few people can truly grasp is the power of sacrifice. It's the most counter-intuitive positioning principle. Sacrifice is like focus, but from the perspective of getting out of a market that you're already in.

Your advice to Dell is that they sacrifice the consumer market, but that's just not something they can come to terms with. It's against human nature to sacrifice what you already have. It's crazy talk! (Or so the not-so-bright business experts will tell you.)

McDonald's would be better offer sacrificing the market for chicken sandwiches. Microsoft would be better off sacrificing the console market, leaving it to Sony and Nintendo. Coke would be better off sacrificing coffee drinks to Starbucks. The list is endless.

Rarely do companies sacrifice what they already have, even if they have it at a steep cost.


I am so glad to hear there are people who agree with me. I was interviewed on CNBC's Squawk Box on Monday morning and they went ballistic when I mentioned Dell should get out of the consumer business. I didn't think I was going out on such a limb saying it. But many people still can't understand the power of focusing.


Right on the dot. Dell is certainly abandoning its core competency and pandering to consumers who buy Dell just because its cheap. Cheap computers will have problems. So why is Dell taking on that burden and subsequently damaging its rep. is beyond me.

Good post.

Ray Roman


You observations regarding Dell are right on the money. I worked for Dell in Round Rock, TX for about a year in the Consumer TeleSales department. It seemed 1 out of every 3 calls was for service, even though we were in sales. Most people did not want to speak to Techs who were abroad. Service was becoming quite a strain.

I agree they need to get out of the consumer market and refocus entirely on business, government, and education.


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