September 20, 2007
Michael Dell, history buff
The dude's a genius. Seriously. Where Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, and the Swedish Empire have failed, Mr. Dell will win. That's why he's invading Russia this winter and opening a new Dell store in Moscow next month. See here. Gist of the story is this: Since Russia has 28 million Internet users, Dell can sell a lot of boxes there. Probably loaded with Ubuntu and bootleg copies of Windows XP. Believe it or not, Ubuntu is very popular in Russia. So Dell's a perfect fit. I mean, when you put a cheap operating system on a cheap computer and sell it in a country where people make like $9 per month, you're guaranteed to make bank, right? Bloodly brilliant, I tell you. Next up on the Dell Retail Store rollout list are Afghanistan and Kenya. Those countries don't have millions of Internet users, but they do have a lot of mules. So people may not be able to get online, but at least they'll be able to get their fancy new Dells home. I know what you're thinking. Yes, it's crazy. Yes, Michael Dell has taken one too many hits on the Ubuntu crack pipe. But the strategy is bound to work at least as well as the Wal-Mart thing, right? Eh. Okay, maybe not.
Listen, if somebody asked me what I'd do if I was the CEO of Dell, I'd tell them I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders. Seriously. Because this Russia thing is not looking good for those poor shareholders. Give it six, maybe eight months. Dell will be out of Russia after winter. Just wait and see.