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Indie Economics

By 2020, there will be 10 web-connected devices per human

David Brancaccio Mar 6, 2014
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Michael Dell, the 49-year old founder and CEO of the world’s No. 3 computer maker, isn’t shy about the corporate battle he waged against activist investors to wrest control of his company back into private hands: his hands.

“We won. It’s great to be a private company again,” Dell told Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio in an interview almost one-year after they talked in the midst of the corporate dispute“As a private company, we have a lot of freedoms we didn’t have before.”

It gives us real freedoms to invest in our business, thinking not just about the near-term but also about the medium- and long-term. And we’re investing in all of the things that matter to our customers, helping them take advantage of all this data that people are starting to monetize.

– Michael Dell, Dell CEO, on being a private company

Dell says one of the areas the computer firm will be investing in is the ‘Internet of Everything’ — or the world of connected devices.

“Data is a renewable resource that brings a tremendous amount of insight,” Dell says. He says companies and customers are thinking about adding instruments and technology to industrial equipment, retail stores, and sensors.

Dell predicts that there will be 70 billion connected devices by 2020 — meaning 10 devices per human.

“When I started our company almost 30 years ago, it was a very different business than it is today,” Dell says, talking about how the digital changes are impacting his company. “And if you look over that 30-year period, there have been any number of distinct transitions.”

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