The Dell story is well-known in the business world: a young Michael Dell, while attending the University of Texas in Austin, founds a computer sales company that eventually revolutionizes the industry. The case puts students in the position of a senior executive at Dell who is preparing for an investor relations meeting. As the senior executive reviews information on his company, he wonders how best to convey to skeptical investors that Dell's strategy will return the company to growth. In examining the Dell story, students learn about how Dell built up a set of competitive advantages that seemed unassailable until the early 2000s. The second part of the case illustrates the impermanence of competitive advantages - it describes how Dell is attempting to remake itself after falling behind its competitors.
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