Sounds like some story line from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy... I made mention of the Edsel/Dell connection in my first blog post and wanted to expand on that theme a bit...
I had laughed (prior to crying) when I first went to the Dell Forums and found a topic titled "Edsel 9100, oops I mean Inspiron 9100", then to refresh my memory I searched out the story behind the Edsel and it's sorry niche in automotive history.
Turns out the comparison is fairly sound, except for the part where Ford was smart enough to withdraw the car from the marketplace. Dell on the other hand, kept selling their Edsels and to this day are denying there is a pervasive set of problems with the Inspiron line of notebooks.
Ironically, Ford was able to post profits in the few years that the Edsel was on the Market, so Ford executives, other than being a bit embarrassed perhaps, were not unduly pressured by Stockholders despite the loss of some 2.25 Billion in todays dollars. Dell on the other hand, saw it's shares fall almost $9 in less than four months in 2006, it plummeted further in the year to a low of $18 and change, before clawing back to it's current price which is still well below the high at the beginning of 2006. When a company reports second quarter profits down 51% that has to hurt!
Despite an earnings per share of $1.33 reported last year, one cannot get optimistic until the fallout of the investigations into Dell's accounting practices is complete.
Well, any way the wind blows, Michael Dell will be okay... he made somewhere around $165,000,000 last year to add to the $15 Billion he has already.
Michael, if our roles were reversed and my company ripped off your daughter and I had $15 Billion, I would buy her the nicest computer I could find and send it to her with a box of flowers and an apology. But that is just me, so Michael, have a nice time in Monaco or where ever it is Billionaires are hanging out this weekend. And don't let your conscience bother you, it gets in the way of business.