Monday, May 24, 2004

Dumb and Dumber

Dell VP (and CEO-in-waiting) Kevin Rollins showed why he's the perfect person to succeed Michael Dell when he told the San Francisco Chronicle that competitor HP was purposely losing money on every PC it sold so that it can stick consumers with the bill for printer cartridge replacements and refills. Now, I could understand if he said they were, in essence, giving away printers for that reason. Its called the "Gillette strategy", named for King Gilette the man who gave away razors in order to sell disposable razor blades. While no one has ever been as successful at it as Gillette, others are still trying (look at Swiffer and others in the cleaning lines as an example).

Last I looked, though, PC's didn't need ink cartridges. So either Carly Fiorina is dumb to sell PCs below cost in the hope of stimulating cartridge sales, or Mr. Rollins doesn't understand the technology of printers or computers. Which puts him on par with his boss.

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