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Tag Archives: Celebrity Geeks

Celebrity Geek: Michael Dell

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Most people regardless as to what part of the world they live in are probably familiar with Dell computers on some level. It can be very easy to see brand names as just names however most brands and companies have a person behind them and a story to tell. Dell computers shot to popularity during the 90’s. Their company has released all types of desktop computers, laptops, peripheral devices and gadgets onto the market.

Michael Dell is the founder of the Dell computer brand. Michael Dell is a highly successful entrepreneur. He is married with four children and he is estimated to be worth $12.3 billion. From a very young age, Michael Dell showed a propensity for business. From a simple paper route he found a way to earn $18,000 (enough money to buy him a car and a few computers at the time). This is a job that most people manage to earn a few extra spending dollars with.

Michael Dell made his first contact with a computer at the age of 15. One of the first things he is said to have done with that computer was take it apart completely and then rebuild it. And he did it, just because. His interest in computers never waned, it only grew. It is clear that a combination of business savvy and a love for computers was instrumental in the way that he developed into the owner of the most profitable PC manufacturer in the world.

While enrolled in University, Michael Dell started his first company. He ran it straight out of his college dorm room. The company was called PC’s Limited. He saw enough success with the company at that time that he felt comfortable dropping out of college, securing a loan from his grandparents and putting all of his energies into his new venture. PC’s Limited became Dell Computer Corporation and finally Dell, Inc.

There was a point in the 90’s when Gateway was one of Dell’s largest competitors. In fact, during the early 90’s, Dell suffered a setback that allowed Gateway to overtake them in the market. There was a glitch in one of their products and their laptops had a tendency to catch fire spontaneously. Sales went down considerably and the future of the company was in question. Eventually, Dell was able to overcome both the bad publicity and the problems. They reinvented themselves and put themselves back at the top of their game.

In 2004, Dell experienced major change as Michael Dell chose not to continue as CEO of Dell. He took the position of Chairman which he holds until today. He has received a mountain of accolades and recognition for his hard work, accomplishments and business acumen: Entrepreneur of the Year (Inc. Magazine), Man of the Year (PC Magazine), Top CEO in American Business (Worth Magazine), CEO of the Year (Financial World) and so many more.


Celebrity Geek: Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs can only be described as a highly successful, ambitious soul. From his earliest years as a teenager, he had a strong curiosity about all things technical. As a high schooler, he would stop by Hewlett Packard (HP) regularly after school to attend the lectures given there. It was not long before HP saw his potential and hired him.

Just like many of our featured “Celebrity Geeks” and technology entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs dropped out of college very early after starting. Although he chose not to pursue a career, the one thing that he did was to continue to audit classes. Auditing allows you to attend a class for a semester just like a regular student without having to be tested on the material and without receiving official college credit for it. All of these years later, Steve Jobs says that some of the courses that he audited at Reed were crucial to the way that he developed the graphical user interface (GUI) abilities of Mac computers. He specifically related the course he took in calligraphy with the accuracy of the type faces on Macs.

Although best known for the work that he has done with Apple, Steve Jobs has had many accomplishments; he was the co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Apple, Inc. Serious conflict caused him to leave Apple for a while but he was able to return on his own terms years later and to continue where he left off. He was also the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios and sits on the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company, which was bought by Pixar.

Early on in his career, Steve left the country and spent time living in India. He returned to the United States a different man. He had converted to Buddhism and even wore Indian robes daily for a while. Even today, Jobs considers himself to have a “counter-culture” mentality and says that this has and still does strongly influence the unique course his life has taken.

At present, Steve Jobs works for Apple, although he is on a leave of absence due to issues related to his health. In 2004, Jobs discovered that he had a cancerous tumor on his pancreas. He has fought the disease through diet, lifestyle as well as through traditional medicine. The past few years of his life have been spent fighting against this sickness in one form or another.


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