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美国商界传奇人物迈克尔·戴尔

2006-07-09 14:51

  Personal Background: Michael Dell Dell Computer 3-year return: 4,200% Age: 35 CEO since: 1984

  个人资料: 迈克尔·戴尔

  戴尔计算机 3年内的利润:4200%

  年龄:35岁

  成为首席执行官的年份:1984年。

  It's often said in business that some event—— good or bad——happened on a particular chief executive's “watch.” It's a nautical expression suggesting that the enterprise is a ship and that this particular chief executive took the helm at some moment mid-journey, just in time to land a great white whale or hit an iceberg. Good or bad, that course and the event that followed were already set before the CEO entered the pilothouse. The idea is that CEOs come and go, but great companies go on forever.

  商界经常称某些事件——无论是好的或者糟糕的——常常发生在某个特别的首席执行官的值班时间。这是海员的说法,说明企业就是一艘船,而这位特别的首席长官在航行途中某段时间掌着舵,恰好此时捕得一条巨大的白鲸或者撞上了冰山。好的或者糟糕的路线以及紧随其后的结果在CEO进入操舵室前就已成定局了。这种观念就是说CEO们变来变去,但是好的公司会一直在运转。

  This model does not apply to Dell Computer, a ship that Michael Dell designed, built, launched, skippered, re-directed, ran aground a couple times, overhauled, and has kept sailing for 15 years and counting. Dell, who is still only 34 years old, has run his company longer than any other CEO has run any other major computer manufacturer. During Dell's watch, Compaq Computer has had two CEOs, Hewlett-Packard has had three, IBM has had three, Apple Computer has had four. Michael Dell can be held directly responsible for everything that has ever happened in the history of his company. It's all his fault.

  而这种模式并不适于戴尔计算机,一艘迈克尔。戴尔设计、建造、下水、担任船长、改变航向、四处游逛、检修,并且一直航行了15年的船,他也一直认为其具有重大的价值。只有34岁的戴尔经营他的公司的时间超过了任何经营其它主要计算机制造公司的CEO.在戴尔的当班期间,康柏计算机曾有两任 CEO,惠普曾有三任,而IBM有三任,苹果计算机甚至有四任。迈克尔。 戴尔可以对他的公司历史上发生的任何事情直接负责。这是他的唯一缺点。

  And a lot has happened on Michael Dell's watch. He founded the company and led it to $18 billion in annual sales, from one employee to 24,000, from operations in one country to 33 countries. He took Dell public and made it the single most successful stock in the history of the Nasdaq. A $100 investment in Dell stock at the 1988 initial public offering is worth more than $56,000 today——three-quarters of that increase coming last year alone. So if we decide to make the somewhat subjective declaration that Michael Dell is the number-one CEO in America, please humor us.

  在迈克尔。戴尔的在任期间发生过很多事情。他创建了公司,使它的年销售额达到18亿美元,从一个雇员发展到24000个雇员,业务范围从一个国家扩展到33个国家。他使戴尔上市,并且使之成为纳斯达克历史上最成功的股票。在1988年最初上市时仅投资100美元的戴尔股票今天价值56000美元 ——仅在去年就增长了其中的四分之三。因此如果我们决定带点主观地宣布迈克尔。戴尔是美国第一的CEO,这是在哄我们。

  The Dell saga is well known. The son of a doctor and a stockbroker, he was raised in a business-savvy home in Houston. After an extraordinary success selling subscriptions to the Houston Chronicle (he was able to buy himself a new BMW while still in high school), young Dell discovered and fell in love with computers. He bought an Apple II to celebrate his 15th birthday, and took it apart. Soon he switched to IBM PCs. He took those apart, too, and came to the conclusion that Big Blue was charging $3,000 for around $700 worth of disk drives, motherboards, and RAM chips. He went into business. Dell souped up IBM's own computers for less than IBM was charging to do the same thing. He took advantage of IBM distribution anomalies to buy PC overstocks below cost from IBM dealers. He upgraded those computers and sold them in direct competition with the very dealers they came from——first from a dorm room at the University of Texas in Austin and then, by the end of his freshman and only year of college, from an off-campus condominium.

  戴尔的传奇故事是很出名的。作为一个医生和股票经纪人的儿子,他成长在休斯顿的一个精明的商业家庭。在成功地把订单卖给休斯顿新闻(Houston Chronicle)后(在高中的时候他就能够给自己买一辆新的宝马汽车了),年轻的戴尔发现并爱上了计算机。他买了一台苹果II庆祝他的15岁生日,并把它拆开了。不久他换成了IBM PC.他也把它们拆开了,并且得出结论:蓝色巨人把价值约700美元的磁盘驱动器、主板和随机存储器芯片卖到3000美元。他开始从事商业。戴尔改进了 IBM自己的计算机,能够以低于IBM的收费做相同的事。他利用IBM销售的不合理性以低于IBM经销商的价格购买库存过剩的PC.他升级了这些计算机,然后销售它们,直接和其进货的正式销售商竞争——这项事业开始是在奥斯汀的得克萨斯大学的宿舍里,然后等到他大学一年级结束时,已搬到了校园外的公寓里。

  There were no Dell stores or dealers. Right from the start, the PCs were sold direct to customers who called Dell on the phone. Sales were $50,000 to $80,000 per month even before Dell moved the operation out of the condo, incorporated (this was 1984; he did business for a time as PC's Limited), and started making his own computers. The company was profitable in its very first quarter, and has been profitable all but one quarter ever since.

  戴尔并没有商店或经销商。从一开始起,PC都是直接销售给打电话给戴尔的客户。即使在戴尔把业务搬出公寓、组建公司(那是在1984年,他成立了PC' Limited经营了一段时间)并开始制造他自己的计算机前,每月的销售额就到了50000到80000美元。在公司的前四分之一阶段就盈利了,除前四分之一阶段外,从此一直都在盈利。

  It's a great story, sure, but the personal-computer industry was built on companies that started fast and were headed by college dropouts. The real miracle of Dell Computer is not that the company started so well but that it has endured. With the exceptions of Compaq and IBM, most of Dell's competitors from 1984 are no longer in business. The only stories even remotely comparable to Dell's come from Bill Gates at Microsoft and Ted Waitt at Gateway. The miracle of Michael Dell is not that he started an important PC company at age 19, but that he is still running it today and happens to be the richest man in Texas.

  这是一个伟大的奇迹,但事实上个人计算机产业是靠一些发展很快而且由大学退学学生领导的公司而建立的。戴尔计算机的真实奇迹不在于它开始得非常好,而在于它能持久。除了康柏和IBM,从1984年起大多数戴尔的竞争对手都退出了市场。还能和戴尔间接进行比较的故事来自微软的比尔·盖茨和 Gateway的Ted Waitt.迈克尔·戴尔的奇迹不在于他在19岁创建了一个重要的PC公司,而在于他在今天仍然在经营这个公司,而且成为得克萨斯最富的人。

  Or maybe it is not a miracle at all. The first time I met Michael Dell was at a business meeting held during his honeymoon. Ten years, four Dell children, and many Dell billions later, this profile could probably end with that sentence and still give a fair image of what makes Michael Dell America's top CEO. Here is a man who loves his work and sometimes fails to see where the business ends and the man begins. After all, it's his name on the building.

  或者可能这根本上就不是一个奇迹。我第一次遇见迈克尔·戴尔是在他蜜月期间的一次商业会议上。十年,戴尔生了四个孩子,赚了若干个亿,本简介也许可以以这句话结束,这种描述依然可以使迈克尔·戴尔成为美国顶尖的CEO.这个人热爱他的工作,有时甚至会看不到生意在哪里结束,他在哪里开始工作。毕竟,这幢大楼上刻的是他的名字。

  At the heart of Dell's success is the word “direct.” The company sells direct to customers, eschewing distributors, re-sellers, and dealers. It deals direct with vendors, again avoiding middlemen. Dell builds no computer until it is ordered by the customer who pays for it, often in advance. This way Dell holds no inventory, or at least not for long (an average of five days, according to Dell himself)。 And since the computers aren't built until they are ordered, the company likes to say that it has perfect market research and builds exactly the computers its customers want. Whether this is precisely true or not, Dell's operation is the ultimate extension of the Japanese ultra-efficient just-in-time production management pioneered in the 1970s. For the most part, Dell doesn't even buy the parts for your computer (or at least doesn't pay for them) until you place your order.

  戴尔成功的要诀是“直接”这个词。公司直接向客户销售,避开批发商、分销商和经销商。公司直接和卖主联系,避开中间人。戴尔直到付款(通常是预先付款)的客户订购才会生产计算机。这样戴尔不会有存货,至少不会很长(按照戴尔自己的说法,平均五天)。因为计算机直到被订购才会生产,所以公司可以声称它作了完美的市场调查,制造了客户需要的计算机。无论这究竟是对还是错,戴尔的运营是二十世纪七十年代首创的日本超效率准时生产管理的最终延伸。很大程度上,戴尔甚至直到你订购后才会为你的计算机购买部件(或者说至少不会为它们付款)。

  This hyper-efficient manufacturing operation, with plants in the U.S., Ireland, Malaysia, and now China, can build PCs that are as reliable and as inexpensive to build as any in the world, yet Dell has hardly ever been the absolute price leader. The company sells a high-quality product with great support and a 30-day money-back guarantee, but don't look for a sub-$1,000 PC from Dell, a company that is fixated on manufacturing efficiency not for its own sake but because efficiency is the route to higher profit. As the rise and fall of companies like Packard Bell have shown, low-margin PCs intended solely to build market share don't contribute to profits. And it is consistent and growing profit that has fueled Dell's success. That's why the company still sells more than 80 percent of its machines to businesses.

  这种高效率的制造过程,其工厂在美国、爱尔兰、马来西亚和中国,能够制造出世界上最可靠和最便宜的PC,然而戴尔完全不是一个绝对的以廉价吸引顾客的公司。公司销售高质量的产品,有很强的支持,保证30天退款,但是不要期待戴尔生产低于1000美元的PC,它关注的是生产效率,不是生产本身,因为效率是更高利润的必经之路。如同Packard Bell等公司的沉浮所显示的,只想占据市场份额的低利润PC不会获得利润的。推动戴尔成功的是持续并增长的利润。这是公司仍然把超过80%的机器销售给企业的原因。

  It is in the business market that Michael Dell has always seen his major competitors——Compaq and IBM. “From the first day I interviewed with the company in 1987, Michael made it clear that our goal was to be mentioned by customers in the same sentence with IBM and Compaq,” says Brian Fawkes, one of Dell's first hundred employees. “This focus has never wavered. There was a time when another Austin-based PC manufacturer called CompuAdd reported higher revenues than Dell, and people started saying, 'We have to attack CompuAdd.' But Michael kept us concentrating on Compaq and IBM, which was the right thing to do. CompuAdd is gone.”

  迈克尔·戴尔总是在市场上观察他的主要竞争对手——康柏和IBM.“从我在1987年第一次到这家公司面试起,迈克尔就清楚地告诉我们,我们的目标是被客户谈起,就象对康柏和IBM一样。”戴尔最早的一百个职员之一,Brian Fawkes说,“这个观点从来就没有动摇过。有一次另一家以奥斯汀为基地的叫CompuAdd的PC制造商报道它的年收入超过了戴尔,大家开始说,'我们必须向CompuAdd进攻了'.但迈克尔让我们专注于康柏和IBM,因为这才是要做的事。现在CompuAdd已经消失了。”

  Everybody calls him Michael. Everybody.

  每个人都称呼他迈克尔。每个人。

  While Dell was always focused on the bigger companies, it took a while for Compaq and IBM to notice Dell. “In 1989, Michael's company was growing from PC's Limited to Dell Computer,” recalls Patrick Dryden, who was then a reporter and is now an analyst for the Giga Information Group. “I interviewed Rod Canion, one of the Compaq founders, about growth plans and targets; at that time, Compaq still had its sights set on surpassing IBM, and it was considered a very ambitious goal. What about Dell Computer and its early success with the direct-sale model? Canion sneered and referred to PC's Limited as a novelty that wouldn't last. Later, I recounted the episode to Michael. He was hurt, genuinely pained to be dismissed in such an offhand way by someone he respected as a competitor. Not long after that, Dell Computer pointedly attacked Compaq in ads that depicted an empty-headed sales guy in a chain store.”

  虽然戴尔总是集中注意力于大公司,但过了一段时间后康柏和IBM才开始注意戴尔。“1989年,迈克尔的公司正在从PC's Limited成长为戴尔计算机公司。”当时是一名记者,现在是技嘉信息集团分析员的Patrick Dryden回忆,“我采访了康柏的创始人之一Rod Canion有关增长计划和目标的情况;当时,康柏仍然把视线集中在超越IBM,这被认为是一个非常有野心的目标。对戴尔计算机和它的直接销售模式的早期成功你有什么看法?Canion对此很不屑一顾,他称PC's Limited是一个小玩意,不会持续太久。后来,我向迈克尔叙述了这段情节。他觉得受到了伤害,为被他尊为对手的人以这种唐突的方式奚落他而感到痛苦。不久以后,戴尔计算机在广告中描写了一个在连锁店里的没有头脑的销售员,用此来尖锐地攻击康柏。”

  Don't offend a 24-year-old CEO with a large ad budget. While Compaq is still the PC sales leader, Dell is a close second in the U.S. and actually beats Compaq in corporate desktop-PC sales. And Rod Canion is long gone.

  不能用一大笔广告预算冒犯一个24岁的CEO.虽然康柏仍然是PC销售的老大,但是戴尔在美国非常接近地排在第二位,而实际上在公司的台式机销售上已经击败了康柏。而Rod Canion已经离开很久了。

  Not even the savviest twentysomething CEO knows everything, so Dell imported over the years a variety of older experts from other companies. It was a cheaper alternative to Compaq's tendency to grow by acquisition. Dell just bought the people, sometimes discarding them when he had learned what they had to teach. This was the case when Dell recruited Graham Beachum, an experienced executive from IBM and Tandy. Beachum arrived in the year prior to Dell's initial public offering, bringing with him a number of experienced associates just in time to bulk up (and make older) Dell's executive ranks for the IPO. Two years after the IPO, Beachum and his people were gone.

  即便是最精明的二十多岁的CEO也不会知道所有的事情,因此这些年戴尔从其它公司吸收了许多老专家。这相对康柏通过收购而增长的倾向是一种更廉价的替代方案。戴尔只接受人,往往当他已经学会他们所教的之后解雇他们。例如戴尔从IBM吸收了Graham Beachum,他是一位有经验的管理人员,Tandy Beachum也在戴尔开始上市前一年就来了,并带来了许多有经验的同事,及时地壮大了(并且增大了年龄)戴尔的IPO(开始上市)管理队伍。在IPO两年后,Beachum和他的手下都离开了。

  Dell, the company, has faltered only when it has veered from the purest form of its direct model. There was a flirtation with retail sales when Dell machines were sold in Staples stores and some others. But building speculative retail inventories and then having to share profit with the retailer wasn't to Dell's taste, and the relationships ended.

  戴尔公司只有在它从最单纯的直接销售模式进行改动时才有点动摇。当戴尔计算机在Staples和其它商店被销售时感觉这是对零售的一种挑逗。但是建造有风险的零售库存,然后和零售商分享利润不对戴尔的胃口,于是这种关系结束了。   Dell's reluctance to hold inventory was briefly overridden in 1989, when the company bought millions of extra memory chips in an attempt to stay ahead of an expected shortage. It is a mistake to speculatively buy commodity products like memory chips that typically go down, not up, in price. Dell gambled and lost. Worse still, the industry was in transition from 256-kilobit chips to 1-megabyte chips, leaving Dell with too many of the older chips.

  在1989年,戴尔对保持库存的厌恶遭受了重大打击。当时公司购买了数以百万计的外加存储器芯片,试图在预计的供应不足时能够有一定的存货。投机性地购买商品,例如存储器芯片之类价格有下降趋势、而不是上升趋势的产品是一个错误。戴尔赌了一把但失败了。更糟糕的是,工业正在从256K的芯片向 1M芯片转型,留给戴尔的是过多的旧芯片。

  One more goof: After raising $30 million in the 1988 IPO, Dell blew at least $10 million in 1989 trying to technologically leapfrog IBM and Compaq with a super-advanced computer code-named Olympic. This was a violation of the direct model, in that Dell would have been trying to tell its customers what to buy——that is, if the project had even made it that far. Olympic produced a few custom chips and a writeoff for Dell before it was declared a failure and canceled.   另一个失败:在1988年IPO中获利三千万美元后,1989年,戴尔努力以超级先进的命名为Olympic的计算机在技术上超越IBM和康柏,他花费了至少一千万美元。这违背了直接销售模式,戴尔想要告诉消费者该买什么-即,如果这项计划曾经如此设计。在宣布Olympic是一个失败并最终取消之前,已生产了一些戴尔的定制芯片和报废产品。   Since then, the company has made mistakes, sure——the design of its notebook computers got so off track at one point that Dell canceled most of the line, leading to the company's only quarterly loss, in 1993. But Dell quickly recovered by again hiring a top gun from outside, this time raiding the group that designed Apple's PowerBooks.   从那时起,公司曾犯下了某些错误,这是事实-笔记本电脑的设计在某点上脱离了常轨,使得戴尔取消了大多数生产线,导致了公司在1993年一个季度的损失。但是戴尔很快就恢复了元气,再次从外界雇用了最优秀的工程师,这次对设计Apple 公司的PowerBook(强力笔记本电脑)的设计组实施了强有力的打击。

  In the 1990s, the bywords for Dell have been “international expansion” and “increased economies of scale.” In the U.K. and Japanese markets, Dell has caused the same ripples among established manufacturers and had the same quick success as at home. The direct model seems to work everywhere. Even the mighty Compaq is emulating Dell by building some machines to order. IBM is trying to share Dell's success by becoming a major component supplier to the company. Japanese manufacturers are looking to Dell for tips on how to build PCs.

  在20世纪90年代,戴尔的绰号曾经是“互联网膨胀”和“增长的规模经济”。在英国和日本市场上,戴尔曾在公认的制造商中掀起了相同的波澜,并且获得了和在美国一样的快速成功。直接销售模式看来在各处都起作用。即使是康柏这样的大公司也在模仿戴尔建立起某种订购机制。IBM正在努力通过成为戴尔公司的主要零件供应商来分享戴尔的成功果实。日本制造商在怎样建立PCs的技巧方面也向戴尔看齐。

  And Dell owns the Internet——it has by far the biggest presence as a direct online seller of PCs. Dell was selling $1 million per day over the Net in 1996, when some PC makers were still trying to get basic Web sites up and running. By 1998, Dell's online sales were $14 million per day, and the company had increasing sales and profits during a year that was flat or slightly worse for most of Dell's competitors.

  戴尔也拥有互联网-作为PC直接在线销售商来说,它拥有最大的现场市场。1996年,戴尔每天在网上的销售额达一百万美元,而在这时,一些PC 制造商仍在努力建立站点和刚刚开始运营。到1998年为止,戴尔的网上销售额达到每天一千四百万美元,在这一年中,公司的销售额和利润持续增长,但戴尔的大多数竞争者的销售额要么保持水平,要么轻度下滑。

  Somewhere along the way, Michael Dell turned big rich——about $13 billion worth of rich. The guy who didn't think the company could afford a corporate jet was suddenly putting $1 billion into a private high-tech venture fund called MSD Capital. The kid who started a company in his dorm room was building a $22 million estate on a hilltop outside Austin. True, it's not as expensive as Bill Gates's $60 million digs, but around Austin it takes a major effort at conspicuous consumption to spend even $22 million.

  在他的人生路程中的某处,迈克尔·戴尔变成了富翁-他的财产大概有130亿美元。戴尔曾认为公司无法担负得起一架喷气式飞机的费用,但他突然对一个私人的高技术风险基金投资了10亿美元,称作MSD资金。这个在宿舍里开始经营公司的小伙子对奥斯汀市外山顶上的地产投资了二千二百万美元来建造房屋。事实上,虽然这并不象比尔·盖茨价值六千万美元的寓所那么昂贵,但在奥斯汀附近,将近二千二百万美元的大笔花费确实需要人下定很大的决心。

  Dell wrote a management book (Direct from Dell) with Andy Grove's co-author, then went on a book tour. This was the same guy who turned down an appearance on my PBS-TV miniseries Triumph of the Nerds because his PR people claimed he was “too shy.”

  戴尔和合著者安迪·格罗夫写了一本管理书籍(由戴尔直接编写),然后就进行了一场巡回售书活动。因为他的PR人声称他实在“太怕羞了。”,而这个人就曾在我的PBS-TV电视连续短剧-小人物的胜利-中扮演过某个角色。

  “For all the money, Michael really hasn't changed at all,” claims a longtime Dell employee. “He's still trying to think of new ways to make the business run even better. Our new Gigabuys section on the Web site, which sells software and accessories not made by Dell, is an example of just that. Michael was knocking around on the Web site in the middle of the night and found there were things he wanted to buy but couldn't. Now we have Gigabuys.”

  “对于钱,迈克尔从未改变过什么看法,”一个戴尔的长期雇员声称。“他一直努力尝试使企业更好运营的新途径。我们有关网站的新Gigabuys 部门销售并非由戴尔制造的软件和附件,这就是一个好例子。迈克尔以前常在半夜访问各个站点,并发现那里有许多他想买但买不到的东西。但是现在,我们有了 Gigabuys.”

  Among Dell executives, this is a good example of what's called “Michaelmanaging”——Michael Dell's fascination with the minute details of running his business. For 15 years he has set a work ethic for the company and demanded that the rest of the company meet it. Those who don't are asked to leave. Those who do may eventually join the “Dellionaires”——fully vested employees, often in their 30s, often early retirees. Austin is filled with Dellionaires, though the biggest of them all——Dell himself——has no plans to retire. Like Bill Gates and unlike almost everyone else in the industry, Dell really likes what he does for a living. And at 34, with a greater net worth than Gates had at the same age, Dell looks to be a force for decades to come.

  在戴尔的经理之中,有一个有关何被称作“Michaelmanaged”的好例证-迈克尔·戴尔对他公司运营中的一些琐碎事件非常感兴趣。15 年来,他为公司建立起一整套工作守则,并要求公司的所有其余人员都必须遵守。那些没有被要求离开,那些最终参?quot;Dellionaires“的人-已得到完全任命的雇员,大多数在30岁左右,经常是早早退休的人员。奥斯汀有很多”Dellionaires“,虽然他们当中的绝大部分-包括戴尔自己-并没有退休的计划。和比尔·盖茨相似,但与这个行业中的其它人不同的是,戴尔真正喜欢他为谋生所做的工作。在34岁时,戴尔就获得了比盖茨在同样的年龄所拥有的更大的网络价值,看上去他将成为未来的几十年中的中坚力量。

  I, too, have been Michaelmanaged. He called me once, furious at a story I had written. “Next time check your facts!” Dell ordered.

  我也曾经是Michaelmanaged.有一次他打电话给我,他对我曾经写过的一个故事感到非常愤怒。“下次先查清楚事实!”戴尔命令到。

  “Who can I check with who will get back to me in enough time?”

  “我能和谁商量?谁会在足够的时间内回到我的身边?”

  “Check with me,” said the billionaire, who sometimes has trouble delegating. “I'll get right back to you.” And he always has.

  “和我商量一下,”有时会遇到困难的亿万富翁说道,“我会立即回到你身边的”。

  But Dell seems to take orders as well as give them, sometimes acting as the closer on major sales. “I talked to a salesperson today,” said a Dell sales executive. “He got Michael in to meet a customer to close a medium-sized bid. Michael sat at the table over lunch with the customer and was just enthusiastic——passionate even——about his company and products. The salesperson was amazed at Michael's incredible knowledge of products, even down to known glitches in hardware. We won the sale, against Compaq.”

  但是看上去戴尔象发出命令一样地遵守命令,有时他会担当主要销售业务的仲裁人(closer)。“我今天和一个销售员聊了一会儿?quot;戴尔的一个销售经理说道,”他请迈克尔会见一个顾客以确定一份中等大小的订货单。迈克尔和顾客一起坐在午餐桌旁,提到他的公司和产品他有些热情-甚至有些激动。售货员对迈克尔对产品不可思议的广阔知识范围感到万分惊奇,戴尔甚至了解硬件的一些低频干扰信号。我们击败了康柏,得到了订单。“

  The only problem with this image of corporate bliss is that it is so bland. Dell the corporate titan is also Dell the love-struck husband and father of four. “What you see is what you get with Michael,” says an early Dell employee. “There are no surprises.”

  公司幸福形象仅有的问题是它太温和了。戴尔是公司的巨人,而戴尔也是充满爱心的丈夫和四个孩子的父亲。“你所看到的就是你从戴尔身上所能得到的,”一个戴尔公司以前的雇员说道。“没有什么令人感到惊奇的。”

  And it's true. The most controversy a reporter can dig up on Michael Dell is a property-tax dispute that doesn't deserve press past the Austin city limits.

  这是事实。一个记者可在迈克尔身上挖掘出的最大争论是财产税的争议,但这并不值得新闻界加以注意,因为其并未超过奥斯汀市的限制。

  “No one has a bad word to say about the guy,” says a recent Dell hire. “In fact, they think he's just a regular guy who has built a great business that most people really love working in.”

  “没有一个人说过这个家伙的坏话,”一个戴尔新雇员说道,“实际上,他们认为他仅是一个普通人,他创建了一个大多数人都真正喜欢在其中工作的成功的企业。”

  The ultimate test, of course, is jokes. Visit Microsoft and ask about Bill Gates jokes. Visit Intel for jokes about Andy Grove. Drop by Oracle for Larry Ellison jokes. Even Compaq has the odd Eckhard Pfeiffer joke. There are no Michael Dell jokes, none.

  当然,极限试验仅是一个玩笑。走访一下微软可听说有关比尔·盖茨的笑话。去一下英特尔可打听到关于安迪·格罗夫的笑话。顺便走访奥雷克尔就可听说有关拉里·埃利斯的笑话。即使是康柏也有关于古怪的埃克哈德·帕非佛的笑话。但是却从没有听说过迈克尔·戴尔的笑话,从未有过。

  This can hurt in the publicity department. Charismatic leaders are supposed to have rough edges. The Dell story is so compelling that several years ago a movie was planned starring actor John Cusack as Michael. But they couldn't come up with a good script——not enough conflict. He must have been too busy making money.

  这可使宣传部门受损。人们认为有魅力的领导者都不修边幅。戴尔的历史是如此引人注目,使得在几年前曾计划推出一部由著名影星John Cusack饰演迈克尔的电影。但是他们无法创作出一个好的剧本-没有足够的剧情冲突。迈克尔一直只是忙于挣钱。

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