How Michael Dell, a College Dropout, Built a Tech Empire and Added Billions to His Net Worth

How Michael Dell, a College Dropout, Built a Tech Empire and Added Billions to His Net Worth
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Drew Angerer

Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Technologies, is one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world. His company helped create one of the world’s most successful digital societies and accelerate the PC revolution. He started his company at the age of 19 while still a freshman on campus and built a multibillion-dollar empire with sheer hard work and dedication.

Here’s a look at the success story of Michael Dell, a college dropout who created one of the most successful tech companies in the world.

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Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan
Image Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Michael Saul Dell was born on February 23, 1965, in Houston, Texas. In his early life, his parents wanted him to pursue medicine but Dell showed enthusiasm for business and electronics. Dell’s interest in technology and business didn’t diminish as he grew older and at age 15, he bought an Apple II PC, only to dismantle it and learn more about computers.

Dell went on to study medicine at the University of Texas because his parents insisted. There he established a small business selling PC disk drives on the campus in his freshman year.

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With a personal investment of $1,000, he registered his venture and named it PC’s Limited, which became the foundation for Dell Inc. In his first year of business, he made approximately $80,000 and he soon dropped out of college to focus on his business, as per atouchofbusiness.com. The company grew and became a key player in the computer industry.

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In 1985, PC’s Limited unveiled its first computer system, the Turbo PC. In the same year, the company established the first toll-free technical assistance with risk-free returns and at-home product assistance, becoming the first PC company to do so.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan
Image Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 

In 1986, the company launched the industry's fastest-performing PC, a 12MHz, 286-based system and in the following year it opened its first international subsidiary in the United Kingdom.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan
Image Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

PC’s Limited went public in 1988, with its name changed to Dell Computer Corporation and raised $30 million from the IPO. Michael Dell became the youngest CEO to lead a Fortune 500 company in 1992 as his company was worth more than $600 million in market value. By the end of the 20th century, Dell was a billionaire and his company had 35,000 employees and offices in 35 countries.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Mario Tama
Image Source: Mario Tama/Getty Images

 

He stepped down as the CEO of Dell in 2004, but remained chairman of the board. He then returned to become CEO in 2007 after the resignation of Kevin Rollins.

Dell planned to take the company private again in 2013 with a private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. After a long-fought battle with Carl Icahn, one of the top investors in the company, Dell finally purchased the company for $25 billion.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan
Image Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In 2015, he purchased EMC Corp. for $67 billion and formed Dell Technologies, the largest private technology company in the world. In 2016 the company and investment made one of the largest tech deals of the time (valued at approximately $60 billion) by acquiring EMC, an American corporation that specialized in data storage. In 2018, Dell went public again and currently, the company has a revenue of $102 billion as of February 3, 2023, according to Bloomberg.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Drew Angerer
Image Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Michael Dell has a net worth of $61.5 billion as of August 3, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. He is the sole owner of MSD Capital and owns 65 percent of MSD Partners, which manages more than $16 billion in combined assets, out of which roughly $12 billion comes from Dell’s fortune.

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