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< All founders' list

Michael S. Dell

Side Project
Doesn't Code
Year of founding:
Current age:
Net worth:

1. Background

Education: (Dropped Out)

College: University of Texas at Austin

Previous Career: None

2. Origin Story

The Side-Hustle

Michael Dell enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin to study medicine, to become a doctor. In his first year of college, and a week before the final examinations, he started the company 'PC's Limited' from his dorm room, with just $1000. Dell had always been interested in math and technology as a kid, but began to develop a substantial interest in computers while at college. As a hobby and side-hustle, he started pedaling computers that he customized on campus with disk drives and extra memory. He bought computers, souped them up with more capability, and resold them. "It was just sort of a fun thing to do and a way to make some money," Dell says.

The Spark

Michael Dell soon realized how big the business could be. He started exploring the world of computers, and noticed that the computer business was very inefficient. "It took a really long time for the technology to get from the people that made it to the people that were buying it, and it was actually rather expensive and slow", Dell says about the state of the industry at the time. By speeding up the process, he started making $50K to $80K a month while still in his dorm room. Michael Dell soon caught the attention of a young Mark Cuban, who was building his own computer business in Dallas. When Cuban drove down to buy some hard drives, he was so impressed by the young Michael, that he wrote him a letter afterward thanking him for the great job, and telling him he was destined for great things.

Birth of a Tech Giant

Within a year, Michael Dell made a profit of $200K and changed the name of his company to 'Dell Computer Corp.', also dropping out of college to work full-time on the business. Inside 4 years, Dell went public in 1988 with a market cap of $85 million. In 1992, at the age of 27, Michael Dell became the youngest-ever CEO with a Fortune 500 company.

3. Other interesting points

- Michael Dell started the company from his dorm room as a freshman at college, with a sum of $1000.

4. Quote

"I think you have to do stuff that you are actually, incredibly passionate and excited about — and you know something about. The ‘oppor-tuneurs’ don’t do as well as the entrepreneurs. You have to really believe in what you’re doing." - Michael Dell

5. Company growth & sources (links)

Personal Story

How did they grow the company?