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Ingvar Kamprad

Born in 1926 in southern Sweden. He founded IKEA at age 17 using a monetary "reward" Ingvar's father gave him for performing well in school. Foundations Ingvar Kamprad used to make his business successful.

Use what's available. Young Ingvar first leveraged his bicycle for cheap delivery, and then hired an existing service (the local milk van) for delivery of his products. Partnering with existing services is often cheaper and less risky than forging a whole-cloth new solution (especially for a start-up).

Focus. Ingvar noted that furniture sold well, so he rolled the dice and made that his primary business line. He was then able to tailor his entire approach to maximizing the attractiveness and profitability of that line.

Michael Dell

With $1,000, dedication and desire, Michael Dell dropped out of college at age 19 to start PC's Limited, later named Dell, Inc. Dell became the most profitable PC manufacturer in the world.

In 1996, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation offered a $50 million grant to The University of Texas at Austin to be used for children's health and education in the city.


Dell has been fortunate to drive a fair amount of innovation in the computing industry throughout its history. These accomplishments have certainly helped define who we are, but more importantly have helped millions of customers achieve their own goals. There are three examples that stand out for me.

First, we continue to be an Internet pioneer. In the early 1990s, we helped shape the future of e-commerce through Dell.com. Today, we're using the Internet to listen, engage and respond to customers through social networking sites that give us valuable insight into what they need and how Dell can help.

The web has always been a core part of our culture...