Dell computers the widely popular manufacturer of computers for home and business, has lately done not so well. Now they have a new idea, listening to their customers and customers to be. Dell opened a website soliciting ideas how to make better Dell PCs. the site is called Dell Idea Storm and allows user participation in form of posts, comments and voting on other people’s proposals.
Interestingly, the most prominent ideas are not about competing with Apple on design or with IBM/Lenovo on ruggedness. The most popular ideas are “pre-installed Linux”, “pre-installed OpenOffice.org” and computers with no software at all. The most popular anti request after a few days is an option of “NO EXTRA SOFTWARE OPTION”, leaving out AOL or Earthlink offers.
I have offered a few ideas myself, such as “Recessed USB bay” and “No glaring screens for Laptops”. While I certainly welcome a company listening to their customers, I’m not too happy with the way Idea Storm counts the votes. I find it inflationary that every passerby voting is counted as 3 votes and every user logged in to the system is counting 20 votes for a single click.