What goes up, must come down. Dell’s Senior VP of the product group, and a former Apple exec, ready to leave as Dell’s product line struggles amid competition from Apple and HP.
Did I say laptop? Or bathroom scale? “Dude, how much do you weigh today?”
Excuse my sarcasm but I couldn’t help myself. I’m referencing a hilarious quote from an article highlighted in MacDailyNews yesterday.
Mac360 is having a “Quote Contest” in the Forums. This one isn’t eligible because it’s from another web site article, but it’s exactly what we’re looking for.
“Dude, how much do you weigh today?” Hilarious. No? OK, a little context might help.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that John Medica, Dell’s senior vice president of product design plans to leave the PC maker early in 2007.
Who cares, right? He’s been at Dell for over a decade and helped guide the company to record growth, sales, and profits.
What’s interesting is that Medica worked for a decade at Apple in the 1980s and early 1990s before moving to Dell. One of his responsibilities at Dell was managing the design of Dell’s laptops.
I have a MacBook Pro, the 17-inch variety. My brother has a Dell laptop, the 17-inch variety. When comparing the two, maybe it’s a good thing for Dell that the guy is leaving. Why?
The MacBook Pro 17 inch model is a superb design; so much so that it does not feel bulky or heavy, though a couple of inches larger than the more popular 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The Dell? I don’t mean to be mean spirited, but the MacDailyNews quote should win some kind of prize. Captioned right below what looks like a bathroom scale is:
”Dude, how much do you weigh today?”
Do you remember the original Mac PowerBook line circa 1992-ish? Even today, that form factor would be competitive. Medica was the head dog on the original PowerBook development.
So, what happened? Dell’s latest laptops are a far cry from what Apple launched back in 1992. When I saw the bathroom scale Dell, all I could think of was, “Those folks need to lose some weight.”
Seriously. That’s the problem. A company that is successful for many years tends to gain weight around the middle, and forgets what lean and mean, uh, well, means.
If this is the same guy who spearheaded the original PowerBooks, then leaving Dell at a critical time is an opportunity for Dell to improve in those areas where they’re getting beat.
Dell’s revenue is about three times Apple’s revenue, yet profits are about the same, while Dell’s market cap is substantially less. Why? Too much success.
As Apple lost its way in the 1990s, Dell and others have done the same in the new century. They won’t find the way with products that resemble a bathroom scale more than a laptop.