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Day August 21, 2010

Dell's running

Once the pride and joy of the world’s largest computer systems builder, consumer products now make up just 18% of Dell’s total sales. That’s probably a good thing in the long run, because this segment is notoriously margin-poor when compared to the less price-sensitive corporate computing market. I can’t blame IBM for giving up on consumers years ago, and I think Dell should follow suit.

via Make a Hard Left, Dell! (AAPL, CTXS, DELL, HPQ, IBM, MSFT, VMW).

That’s right. Flee upmarket Dell. Run, run.

Quoting from the gospel:

Step 2: Entrants grow and improve; incumbents choose flight. As disruptive attackers follow their own sustaining trajectories, they make inroads into the low end of the market or begin pulling less demanding customers into a new context of use. What happens when the disruptive entrant begins to make inroads? […]

Incumbents naturally choose flight. What looks highly attractive to the entrant continues to look relatively unattractive to the incumbent. The asymmetric motivation leads to incumbents naturally fleeing the low end. They cede that market to the entrant. […]

Remember, incumbents focus on delivering up-market sustaining innovations that allow them to earn premium prices by reaching undershot customers. They view flight as a positive development.