- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: HarperBusiness; First Edition edition (February 17, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0887309143
- ISBN-13: 978-0887309144
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 139 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,112,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Direct From Dell: Strategies That Revolutionized an Industry Hardcover – February 17, 1999
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In Direct From Dell, you're reading 10-15 bullet points reiterated over and over and over again in vague, general phrases that can be applied to almost every single successful business that makes the entire thing sound like Generic Business Owner Takes Full Credit Of Company's Success And Writes Generic Book for Quick Cash and Recognition.
You will get some neat, Dell-specific information, but it's almost entirely at the very beginning and very end of the book.
Bullet points for running a successful business include:
Listening to customers
Hiring for the future
Learn from the past
Accept others' help
Sound familiar? Congratulations--you've read every other book by every other successful CEO!
As stated, there are a FEW points that are specific to Dell, though. Reduction of suppliers, component customization, and selling directly to the customers, taking advantage of the internet. Things that you think are obvious and commonplace now but really weren't back then. But that's it, really--you're not going to get finer details of how these were done (likely because I don't think Mr. Dell, like many owners, really understands the finer mechanics of his machinery once the company got big enough), instead just getting cute anecdotes and vague descriptions of how these work. Lots of cute anecdotes, for sure--you'll be swimming in them before waking up and going "Huh? Why was that necessary?"
It's just not a good book. I believe it's successful primarily because enough people have read it and incorporated it into their various management courses that's it's just something of a tradition, now. Make no mistake; Dell is a GREAT story of success, and the TEXTBOOK we used gave VERY CLEAR REASONS why, treating the entirety of Dell's success as an ever going Case Study within the text. But this little "book" doesn't touch on ANY of that when it really should.
The book is divided into two parts for a total of 15 chapters. The first part which covers chapters 1-7 discusses the inception of Dell Computers, a few of their early struggles, and then their rise to the top and their dominance. The second part which covers chapters 8-15 discusses all of the business strategies that Dell has employed to get to where they are today.
If you do not have a management background, you will love this book because all these "strategies" will be new to you. If you have even a basic management background, then this book is really just for entertainment purposes because you will have already been exposed to the "strategies" discussed.
I decided to give the book four stars because it is easy to read and it gives you a nice overview of applied management. If you find management textbooks boring, this book should help put them into perspective and clarify the different principles. There is a lot of positivity in this book and I was looking for greater insight into the low points or conflicts that Dell encountered over the years and how they overcame them. It does talk about one or two low points early on but nothing from the most recent years. The way the book is written, you would get the impression that Dell just rose to the top of the computer industry in a linear fashion but I'm sure there were many challenges or dips along the way and I wish Michael Dell would have talked more about them and how Dell's strategies helped them overcome those obstacles. I guess I was looking for the book to be a little more in depth than it is.
I think this is still a great business book and it can only help you to be a better manager and it can only help your company. It is also a great read for business students.
I recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
I just cannot understand why so many people gave it 5 stars. It's as bland as it is uninspiring.