In 1984 Michael Dell was a freshman at the University of Texas, building PCs and selling them to fellow students and faculty. By 1985 Dell’s company, PC’S Limited, was selling Turbo PC IBM clones that came with an Intel 8088 microprocessor, 640 kilobytes of RAM, a 360-kilobytes drive, a 130-watt power supply, eight expansion slots, and the ability to connect to local area networks (LAN). One of Dell’s selling points was the option to order a PC over the phone with customized components. This connection with the consumer and the ability to keep inventory low until a computer was ordered gave Dell a distinct business advantage going forward. This computer was sold to Clint Johnson, a freelance writer in North Carolina. In 2005 he donated the computer back to Dell Inc., which gave it to the Museum in 2007.
Owen Edwards, “Baby Dell,” Smithsonian Magazine, August 2007.
Nancy Fowler Koehn, Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell (Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2001), 276–305.
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