Yesterday’s innovative business model is today’s millstone. Continuously reinvent or die.
It seems there is no shortage of folks who like to bash Wal-Mart. I guess that’s good since now I don’t have to. All I know is that I never go there. I just don’t. So when Dell announced a few days ago that they were going to start selling through Wal-Mart, my initial reaction wasn’t exactly positive. I’m not sure why, exactly. I guess I just don’t see myself as a Wal-Mart customer, so they really do not fit into my worldview whatsoever.
I bought a Dell PC back in 1998. While it currently serves as a dust collector in my basement, I remember it being a rather decent piece of gear for its time. I recall when it arrived at my door – my first experience with Dell’s celebrated direct business model. Everything was colour-coded, etc. and dead simple to put together. It just worked. And I was pleasantly surprised.
But now it’s come to this. Selling Dell’s at Wal-Mart. It might be that Dell is going to be the supplier that finally changes the way Wal-Mart does business, or it may be that they just don’t know what they’re getting into. Your guess is as good as mine. But, this doesn’t feel right to me. It might be good in the short term, but I can’t imagine this is going to be particularly healthy for Dell in the long run.
Is Wal-Mart the last resort when you’ve waited too long to reinvent?