Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Dell Growing in the Right Places, but Not the Big Ones

Privately held or not, Dell has a strategy for transforming itself, but it clearly has a long way to go before it gets there. That much was made clear in a single slide from a deck accompanying its earnings conference call this afternoon.

Basically it shows that every line of business at Dell continues to be in decline — except one, and that’s the combined server and networking businesses.

Here’s the slide, and it may constitute something of a last look at the state of Dell before it completes its leveraged buyout.

As you can see, servers and networking grew 18 percent, versus everything else, which declined year over year. Separate them out and server revenue grew 5 percent, while networking grew 42 percent. While the growth seems healthy, it’s not enough to offset everything else. Servers and networking combined amounted to less than 19 percent of sales. Dell’s business shrank in the remaining 81 percent.

It’s hard to make shareholders happy when the trend lines look like that. So now you see, in one place, why Dell is going private.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work