6 Books Michael Dell Wants You To Read

A list you’ll want to bookmark

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There’s a strong chance you might be viewing this article from a Dell product. Dell Technologies chairman and CEO Michael Dell had an interest in computers since he was a young boy. At the age of 15, he bought an Apple computer—to take it apart to see how it worked. Later in college, he started building computers in his dorm room and sold them to students. Dell’s business strategy focused on strong customer support and cheaper prices, making Dell computers one of the world's largest PC makers.

Fast-forward to present day and Dell has been ranked as the 20th richest person in the world by Forbes. It’s quite impressive for a self-made businessman who racked in $80,000 by the end of his freshman year in college from creating computers. With such a remarkable resume, we were curious to find out which books made the innovator’s reading list. 

'The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies' by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (W.W. Norton & Company, 2014)

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As an inventor and businessman, Dell is fascinated with technology and its optimistic predictions for the future. In The Second Machine Age, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee explore how advances in technology can alleviate our concerns about health and resources in centuries to come. The authors believe science will push us into a world that is better than the one we inherited.

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'The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success' by William N. Thorndike (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012)


In The Outsiders, author William N. Thorndike looks at the stories of eight successful chief executives as a bridge to review the importance of thoughtful capital allocation. "[It’s] a good read for any business leader, but especially those willing to chart their own course,” Dell told Inc. Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman deems the read as one of the most important investment books to get your hands on, as it has a strong influence on CEOs and big hedge fund and private equity investors.

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'The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers' by Ben Horowitz (HarperBusiness, 2014)

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a guide about starting a business and how to follow through successfully. Written by entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Ben Horowitz, the book candidly talks about the trials and tribulations one can expect when building a business. Dell says this book is one of his faves because it’s loaded with great lessons and advice from a successful leader and innovator.  

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'Breakpoint: Why the Web Will Implode, Search Will Be Obsolete, and Everything Else You Need to Know About Technology Is in Your Brain' by Jeff Stibel (Palgrave Macmillan Trade, 2013)

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According to brain scientist and entrepreneur Jeff Stibel, we are in the midst of a networking revolution. Taking a deeper look at the brain, biology and technology, Stibel explores how top companies are using the internet's knowledge to build better websites, utilize cloud computing, engage with customers on social media and monetize effectively. Dell believes a “wave of new technologies on the horizon will show us the way forward and bring competitive advantage to the businesses that understand the nature of networks.”

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'Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100' by Michio Kaku (Doubleday, 2011)


In this book, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku predicts some of the changes and advancements we can expect in the future. Thanks to constant technological innovations, Kaku presumes that by the year 2100, we’ll have cars that fly by floating on magnetic fields, space elevators and internet-enabled contact lenses. What is currently viewed as science fiction will turn into present-day reality. 

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'Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think' by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler (Free Press, 2012)

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In this book, the authors claim that "technology has the potential to significantly raise the basic standards of living for every man, woman and child on the planet.” This idea really resonated with Dell, as he told Inc., “They make a fascinating argument, and make me happier than ever that I ditched my dream of being a doctor to enter the unpredictable world of IT.” Abundance focuses on innovation and how it’s fast-growing production can combat problems that will arise in the future, like climate change, lack of food resources and cures in medicine.

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