Insights | 10.22.19

Innovators That I Admire – No Regrets By Rob Baum, CEO of TechFlow

Michael Dell once said, “Regrets are born of paths never taken.” Well, I imagine he has very few regrets. He is one of the top innovators I admire because he was motivated to start so early. At the age of 19, he was building and selling personal computers out of his college dorm room. I won’t say what I was doing at age 19, but let’s just leave it that I was not in his world. It is truly amazing to me that he had so much drive and determination at such a young age.

Watching him, I came to understand how important it is to act on and pursue something you truly believe in, even in the face of steep challenges. When I look at Michael and what he accomplished, my takeaways are that you need to truly believe in what you are doing and be driven to succeed, you need to be passionate about creating the coming success, and you need to have a vision that resonates with others to grow.  Building Dell was not without its share of difficulties.  His actions show that even the steepest challenge can be overcome with drive, passion and vision.

Without all of these factors, Michael would not have been successful.  Not only was Michael in school and studying when he started Dell, he was managing the business.  He was driven to succeed and opted mid-semester to drop out of school and pursue growing the business full-time. He was passionate about the opportunity to service what he saw as a critical need for well-built and optimized computers. This passion further fueled his drive to grow Dell and helped him to attract and retain a loyal following. Without passion, he would not have had the ability to recruit the key individuals he needed to expand the company.  People follow passionate leaders, but not blindly.  Michael also needed to have a believable and exciting vision.  His vision, layered on top of his drive and passion, created a solid foundation for the story required to build an enduring brand.

Running TechFlow, I can relate to the important role that drive, passion and vision play in a company’s success. Drive is what gets you up every day to make an impact and change the world to a better place.  Passion is what attracts people to join your cause and gets them excited to help you make a difference!  And vision is the glue that ties everyone together with focus on a common end goal! You can’t get people excited about something without a vision that highlights where they are going and why they should care.  Leveraging all of these components together, a business can really go places! Look at Michael Dell!

For me, I am passionate about leveraging new perspectives, innovative ideas and exciting technology to solve complex problems. I love to geek out, roll-up my sleeves, and drive impactful solutions. I try to incorporate these important elements into my everyday management style – drive propels us forward, passion gets us excited, and vision guides us on our path to do great things.

Dell delivered PCs to the masses.  Dell laptops and servers powered businesses and ushered in the era of technology and efficiency.  From the dorm room to the board room, Michael Dell  has shared many nuggets of wisdom over the years and I’m sure there is much more he could pass on.  I will end with one of his many inspirational quotes, “The very thing you fear could be the best thing to ever happen to you.” So take that leap, start down that path, follow your passion and have no regrets!