When Michael Dell was a freshman at the University of Texas, his parents were concerned that his entrepreneurial interests would interfere with his pre-medical studies. When they paid him a surprise visit, he rushed to hide his inventory of computer parts in a friend's room. But before long, his business grew too big to conceal.
Dell had seen an opportunity the big players had missed. By assembling computers to order and selling them directly to the customer, bypassing traditional retailers, he could beat the prices of IBM and the other industry leaders. He left college after freshman year to run his business full-time, and within a decade he became the youngest CEO ever to head a Fortune 500 company. The company he founded, Dell Inc., pioneered Internet commerce. In time it became the world's number one direct-sale computer vendor, providing desktop and notebook computers to consumers around the world, and network servers and IT support services to industry and government.
Michael Dell's phenomenal business success enabled him to build innovative medical centers at the University of Texas and to make massive contributions to medical research, particularly in the area of children's health. His entrepreneurial genius brought the power of information technology into millions of homes, and revolutionized the way the world does business.