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Dell is listening

April 3, 2007

Jeff Jarvis had drinks with Dell’s PR people and tells an amazing tale of a company that appears to be getting the customer revolution.

“The team said that IdeaStorm was Michael Dell’s own idea and passion. And before we met, the company announced
that because of IdeaStorm they’d decided to offer Linux now not just in
servers and workstations but also in desktops and laptops. The people
at IdeaStorm pushed this hard. Dell came back worried about how many
flavors of Linux it would need to ship and support. They wrote:

The IdeaStorm community’s interest in open source
solutions like Linux on Dell platforms has come through loud and clear.
Many of you have suggested a survey to help Dell determine which
distribution is most popular, and we think that’s a great idea. Based
on your idea, we now have a short survey, which will be open until
March 23, where you can tell us more about your favorite distribution
of Linux, your preferred method of support, and more.

More than 100,000 people took that survey, leading to Dell’s announcement. And the discussion continues on the blog.

Welcome to the age of customer control. This isn’t just
crowdsourcing. This is crowdmanaging. Companies still fear this. But,
hell, if even Dell can lean back and let its customers begin to take
charge, anyone can.”

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