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Michael Dell does not wear cowboy boots

And he just loves iced water

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Michael Dell does not wear cowboy boots, he drinks water from a bottle, but not in front of a camera, and his flunkeys scatter notebooks whenever he descends upon his factory in Limerick, so he can check email wherever he stops.

Oh, and he doesn't eat lunch and there's no chair in his office (as he always stands up), if rumours flying among Dell staff in Limerick are true.

We learn these snippets in a Dell company profile compiled by the FT's Caroline Daniel. She doesn't nail the no-chair bit as Michael Dell wouldn't let her see his office.

What else? Dell's 3,500 staff in Limerick, are paranoid that the PC maker may leave Ireland and they are stressed about the constant exhortation to improve "metrics".

This time and motion obsessiveness was introduced to the company by Bain consultants. Until 1993 Dell had no idea whether or not it made a profit until the end of the quarter. The focus was entirely on growth, leaving the company perilously close to collapse when it doubled sales to become a mere $2bn t/o stripling.

Now there are messages pinned up in Dell facilities across the world - "We can save 20 per cent of our toilet roll budget this quarter! Fold, don't scrunch."

(And talking of messages - is there any truth in the claim made to us recently by a former Dell employee in the US that there are notices forbidding guns on the Round Rock site - in Braille?)

There's more, much more, on the Dell Way (which these days seems far more distinctive - if a little bit scary - than anything HP can come up with for its Way) at the FT. ®

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