Dell cautions against forming very close friendships in a company. He believes this blinds entrepreneurs from objectively assessing the work-environment of the company. At the end of the day, an employee should be evaluated by how well they do their job, not how fun they are to be with.
I think one of the mistakes that I think you can make in a company is to build really close friendships. And the reason I say that is that those really close friendships can actually blind you to objectively assessing the situation. And so we sort of sit back from the situation and say, "Look, hey, you're a really nice guy, and we like you and your family. And you're fun to be with and we like your jokes, but you didn't get the job done." So you just have to be able to do that and say, "Hey, I might like you and you might be a great guy, but at the end of the day... " If you limit a company by its people, or the limitations of those people, you ll get a certain kind of company. And that might be just fine. We didn't really want to do that. We said, "Okay, what's the real potential of this business, and how are we going to draw that out?"
Michael Dell lectures on Entrepreneurship for Stanford University students, May 1, 2007. Michael Dell is the founder of the computer company Dell, Inc. He created one of the most profitable computer companies in the world with annual sales of up to $50 billion American dollars. Dell has also become one of the wealthiest people in the world with a 4th place listing on the Forbes rich Americans list in 2005 with an estimated worth of $18 billion. In this Stanford lecture, he talks about taking caution in forming close friendships in a company, creating an effective communication infrastructure and starting a new company in an inefficient industry.
Related Links: http://www.dell.com/
Last Updated: Mon, Jul 16, 2007
- Endeavor's Entrepreneurs' Summit
- Stanford University's Entrepreneurship Corner (ecorner)
Original Course Name: Endeavor's Entrepreneurs' Summit.