Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new FastCompany.com?

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Pivot, aka Evolution

Dell is readying a campaign to promote its new image—a radical turn from hardware to software. But news coverage of Dell's early days (when it was called PC ’s Limited) is a good reminder that change is natural—for every company.

Problems the young PC’s Limited tackled in the 1980s:

Slow processing

"When a computer is doing a time-consuming task, one is left wondering whether it has simply quit. [PC’s Limited’s] red lights allow one to sip coffee while waiting, secure that the computer is working."*
The New York Times, 1987

Storage space

"Not only has the 20-megabyte hard disk on my original IBM XT long since overflowed, but the 40-megabyte one on the PC's Limited 286 is also about to give me a 'disk full' error message."
The New York Times, 1987

IBM lust

"When IBM introduces its own version of [a new processor], PC's Limited simply will ship its customers a disc and the machine will be transformed into a copy of the IBM product."
San Francisco Examiner, 1986

Pricey technology

"[PC's Limited] takes the unusual approach of selling computers through the mail, which holds down costs. It's hard to find this kind of power for under $5,000."
The Dallas Morning News, 1986

*Quotes abbreviated for space

[Illustration by Chris Philpot]

Add New Comment

0 Comments