I have seen Michael Dell in person once (that was in Boston), and I have read about him and taught about him and his company many many times. Even though I knew his story by heart, I was nevertheless very pleasantly surprised to see a very relaxed Michael Dell talk about his life story (the second part of the interview):
His company went public in 1988, when he was just 23. Unbelievable, even by today’s standards. But what was even more incredible was that he started looking at the component supply chain very early in Japan, Korean (and then China), starting in 1987. He talked about sourcing components at the famous Tokyo Akihabara town.
Like other successful founders and entrepreneurs, he displayed a very passion for computers. Also, like other successful people, he had resources and support from his family – his dad bought him his first computer, which was an Apple II (It was also one of the first computers I had my hands on when I was a kid and a computer I had very fond memory of). He started small, and he never gave up. In the interview he talked about a story where he would fly to a city, rent a U-haul, buy dozen of machines from one store and then immediately sold to another, making $1000 in one weekend. It was this entrepreneurial spirit that made him eventually successful. We all should learn something from him.