Play Nice But Win
A CEO's Journey from Founder to Leader
WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
From Michael Dell, renowned founder and chief executive of one of America’s largest technology companies, the inside story of the battles that defined him as a leader
In 1984, soon-to-be college dropout Michael Dell hid signs of his fledgling PC business in the bathroom of his University of Texas dorm room. Almost 30 years later, at the pinnacle of his success as founder and leader of Dell Technologies, he found himself embroiled in a battle for his company’s survival. What he’d do next could ensure its legacy—or destroy it completely.
Play Nice But Win is a riveting account of the three battles waged for Dell Technologies: one to launch it, one to keep it, and one to transform it. For the first time, Dell reveals the highs and lows of the company's evolution amidst a rapidly changing industry—and his own, as he matured into the CEO it needed. With humor and humility, he recalls the mentors who showed him how to turn his passion into a business; the competitors who became friends, foes, or both; and the sharks that circled, looking for weakness. What emerges is the long-term vision underpinning his success: that technology is ultimately about people and their potential.
More than an honest portrait of a leader at a crossroads, Play Nice But Win is a survival story proving that while anyone with technological insight and entrepreneurial zeal might build something great—it takes a leader to build something that lasts.
After spending much of the last decade engaged in a pitched battle to hold onto his eponymous computer company, a triumphant but bruised Dell (Direct from Dell) looks back at a lifetime of naysayers and relishes the chance to set the record straight in this intimate, insider portrait of a tech titan under siege. Chapters alternate between Dell narrating the ferocious battle to buy out the company and his transformation from a scrappy, entrepreneurial teen to a college-dorm dwelling CEO, two threads that are linked by his singular faith in the future of personal computing. Dell describes his aggressors: the "trouble-making opportunist" Carl Icahn, who waged a public war against Dell as the founder and CEO sought to take his company private and insulted Dell while he restrained from commenting on anything related to ongoing negotiations; shareholders who "abandoned" him during a spate of poor earnings; and a business media that had "an ax to grind." While the personal narrative is fast-paced and humorously told, the overwhelmingly one-sided perspective and frequent jargon-laced explanations of the industry will likely turn off those not already familiar with the contours of the industry and Dell itself. Business news nuts who love swashbuckling stories will feel right at home.
Not just about leading a successful business but also about leading a successful life! Thanks Michael Dell!
The story telling in this book is amazing! Dell explains his view of the ups and downs of Dell so well. Totally recommend this book to Anyone.
Get a foot in… just get a foot in.
Get your pen and paper and take the jewels he drops and form framework for your own business. Then take your passion and inject yourself in the industry you’re interested in. This book is one of the few I’m going to re-re-re-read.