Entrepreneurship and Michael Dell’s Content, Commerce, & Community

If you want to be an entrepreneur, who better to study than Michael Dell? He is an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere. Starting in his college dorm room building computers, his understanding of business has made him an icon of success in the arena of technology businesses.

In two keynote addresses given almost a decade ago, Michael Dell defined three principles or concepts for successful internet businesses. Much of what he suggested is now standard practice and in some cases has been taken further than he probably imagined.

Theses principles are sometimes referred to as the 3 C’s. They are content, commerce and community. Careful study of these three principles can help entrepreneurs, those with home based businesses, and network marketers.

The first of the 3 C’s is content.

How did Michael Dell define content? Listen to the words he uses to define it for the Detroit Economic Club on November 1, 1999, “The first stage of content means providing compelling information. This is how we started our online operations in 1993, when we put our technical databases online for customers to access. It was a relatively simple start, but it showed us the tremendous interest from our customers.”

At the keynote address at the Southwest Government Technology Conference in 2000, he made similar suggestions to the ones he made earlier in that Detroit meeting.

He suggested this: “By content, we mean bringing information online. Anytime you have a form, a manual, or a document, put it online. This is the foundation of any Internet strategy. Once we brought information online, it became clear to us where the opportunities were in the transaction world: simple things like order status and commerce, and we have added more complex things over time. The key, again, is that it is experiential and you learn by doing.”

If you want to be an entrepreneur, what is the content you already have, what content do you need to develop?

Look at your present or future business from the content perspective? Define your content. Learn from those who have created that kind of content. Do what they did to create it.

You need products or services to provide to customers. Make a list of the content they will need to explain, troubleshoot, access, or know about your goods and services. A viable business start-up needs content tied to real-world products or services.

The second of the 3 C’s is commerce.

Read how Mr. Dell defined it in Detroit, “The next stage is commerce, which should be thought of as all transactions, not just buying things over the web. In fact, our first activity in this area had nothing to do with purchasing. It was simply order status.”

A few months later at the conference in the Southwest he reiterated, “The second stage is commerce. You should think of this as any kind of transactions. Our first experiment with transactions really had nothing to do with “commerce.” It was an online order status tool. We knew we were on to something when, in the first week, five thousand customers used this tool — and we didn’t even advertise that it was out there. This formed the foundation of our online sales effort.”

He continued, “Our ultimate goal is to deepen relationships with customers by providing added convenience, efficiency, and cost savings, and a wider array of services. The Internet creates an opportunity to move these key transactions online and drive transaction cost to almost zero.”

Does your commerce process resonate with Michael Dell’s suggestion? Think about the last quote. “The ultimate goal is to deepen relationships.” Commerce aspects may reduce costs and increase efficiency, but with a purpose. The ultimate goal is C # 3 which is community.

How important is community, the third C?

According to Mr. Dell, “The final stage is developing an online community. We are building two-way relationships over the web with both our customers and our suppliers.” – Detroit Economic Club.

He went on to express the goal of “establishing communities of suppliers and end users that share common interests”.

At the later conference in the Southwest he ended by observing, “In summary, the Internet is changing the face of the entire economic and social structure of not only this country but the entire world, and governments have a great opportunity to embrace it. We are seeing a transition from a brick-and-mortar government to an online government. The advantages will include things like velocity, efficiency, and a better customer experience.”

The internet has matured since Michael Dell first talked about the 3 C’s, but as a model they still make sense. If anything, community has become even more important. They are not a grocery list to pick one to keep and one to leave.

Today community is so important that it has ushered in a rebirth of web marketing, often called Web 2.0. It depends on social marketing, blogs, myspace and other elements to build that community. Content and commerce both serve the final C of community. It is in community where loyalities, relationships, and trust are built.

Where there is community there are repeat customers. Community-building is a vital skill to have if you want to be an entrepreneur.

Something About Science and Technology in India

In the over six decades of independence, India has committed itself to the task of developing its science and technology. The role of science and technology is considered to be an important factor regarding the development of any country and India is no different.The progress of science and technology has had an unprecedented impact on the socio-economic progress of India. Today, knowledge is a virtue and it has ushered in several scientific and technological developments that have deep legal, social and ethical implications.The science and technology of India needs to be induced with some fresh vitality so that this sector can play a more decisive role in the overall growth of the country. India continues to display firmness in its resolve for supporting science and technology and all its facets. The government, regardless of whichever party in power, has always laid emphasis on this sector to make India a global competitive power. The thrust is always on the utilization of the natural resources of the country in a sustainable manner, protection of the environment along with ensuring national security.India is the home to the third largest scientific and technological manpower of the world with over 160 universities awarding over 4,000 doctorate degrees and 35,000 post-graduate degrees. Besides, the state-owned Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has over 40 research laboratories that have made significant contributions in the progress of science in India.In the field of missile technology, India is among the top five countries of the world. Technology has been imbibed into the mainstream of economic planning and development in India and it istoday is considered as an effective instrument to drive growth. It has helped other sectors of the economy like agriculture, industry and the service industry. The resources of the country are being used for deriving the highest possible output for the benefit of the society. About 85 per cent of the funds meant for science and technology are given by the government, though the private sector are contributing towards the development of this sector, it’s still minimum compared to what the government is contributing.India has also carefully developed a nuclear energy program, entirely meant for peaceful purposes like power generation, agricultural applications, manufacturing industry, medicine, research etc. India has been recognized as one of those countries that possess advanced nuclear options, including the production of the raw materials. India is self reliant and has also mustered the expertise to cover the total nuclear cycle right from exploration and mining to generation of power and energy and waste management. The ingredients of research are indigenously manufactured inside the country.The science and technology sector of India has contributed immensely to the development of the country.

Information Technology – Current Events in India

In a few brief decades of human history, information technology has permeated every corner of the world and every facet of the human experience. Nowhere is this phenomenon more marked than in India. India’s high availability of technically trained workers, who are also multilingual, make it extremely competitive on the world economic stage. Indian Institutes of Technology are recognized for their excellence on an international scale. The Information Technology sector in India is mostly taken up by software and and services like, system integration, application development and maintenance or CADM, consulting, software testing, and internet services. Companies like Wal-Mart, Intel, Cisco, Oracle and Dell are continuing to look to India’s Information Technology organizations to provide technology services.Recent economic downturns have affected India, not unlike other parts of the globe. However, recent events make an early recovery in India’s information technology companies, promising. India’s largest exporter of computer software, Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd. reports a 29% increase in second quarter 2009 profits. While the profits are attributed to both new orders and cost control decisions, it is not the only firm to report results that were better than anticipated. Infosys, as well is reporting an upswing. Overall, third quarter results are up around 16 billion rupees, as compared to last year’s 13 billion during the same time period. TCS plans to add 8000 employees to its rolls to meet the anticipated increased demands in the coming year. In other developments, India’s Polaris Software Lab Ltd. has agreed to purchase Laser Soft Infosystems Ltd. Laser Soft provides information technology services in the banking industry. The purchase, for approximately 520 million rupees will add 600 people to Polaris’ 9,000 and 40 financial institutions to Polaris’ holdings. The banking technology market is predicted to experience continued near-term growth. Payment processing and other banking infrastructure and transaction systems are anticipated to lead the momentum as worldwide economic recovery continues to unfold.Shifting technology support and consultancy services to India has proven to be a significant source of cost control for many of the world’s technology companies. Mergers and acquisitions by organizations such as NASDAQ listed Cognizant with UBS India Service Centre put the world on notice that information technology resources in India are desirable assets to acquire. One such jewel in India’s crown, Proteans has recently been named to Software Magazine’s Software 500 list. Inclusion on this list puts Proteans on a preferred list of business partners for the world’s large corporations.Although India has experienced challenges to its status as a premier locale for outsourcing this type of work from China, The Philippines and Eastern Europe, India’s superior training in, not only technology, but languages is anticipated to keep it out front of its competition. Growth in the telecommunications industry will also fuel future growth in India. The ability to distribute telecommunications capability to outlying areas of the country allows for these areas to become resources for workforce talent. Nearly no information technology advancement that has occurred in the world over the last few decades without India’s involvement or influence. The future seems to predict ongoing success.

The Importance of the Growth of Technology in India

Every country has to tread the path of progress to become powerful and to elbow the others out of the way. One of those paths leads to technological and scientific progress. With the world coming to a position where everything is machine operated, technology is the key to becoming powerful and successful. Since India’s independence, it has paid great attention to these areas. With scientists, engineers and researchers in its tow, the technological prowess of India has increased greatly.Other than the basic gadgets that India manufactures, the main influence of Indian technology is in the field of missile technology and nuclear energy. The missile technology that India nurtures is so developed that it ranks among the top five countries in the world. This development has also impacted the economic arena of the country. With the economy of India benefiting from the missile technology advancements, the proceeds are helping to enhance industries like the service industry and agriculture.India has also shown a great advancement in the automobile industry. In fact a certain section of the automobiles manufactured in India are exported in several parts of the world. The entire amount of money generated from these industries helps in the societal development of the country.The other section where India has shown considerable amount of progress is the nuclear industry. However, the main reason why India is venturing into this field is to claim peace. These nuclear programs ensure that the agricultural, medical, and manufacturing industries benefit from it. Technology in India has improved to such an extent that the country is also into the production of raw material that will help in these researches and developments. This just goes ahead to prove how self sufficient India has become in all these respects. Be it the nuclear programs or missile manufacture, India has come a long way and is here to stay.Most of the research and development for the technology India houses are sponsored by the Indian government. The best part about this sponsorship is that it does not matter which political party is at the helm as the entire leadership strata feels that it is imperative to fuel the technological advancement of the country. The brains behind these developments are mostly Indian as the education base in India is also pretty strong. That is the reason; several people pursuing higher studies are offered scholarships to carry on research and studies that can help the enhancement of the technological scenario of the country. The country’s intelligence and knowledge base is so strong that the professors and experts are requested to join foreign country teams to help them in their research work. This concludes that India is walking a sunny path of technological growth.Right from the time of India’s independence, there has been quite a technological and scientific growth in the field that has ensured the country’s growth.