Tech tale

Austin billionaire Michael Dell plays nice with new insider book on leadership

Austin billionaire Michael Dell plays nice with new book on leadership

Michael Dell book
The Austin billionaire's new book is out this fall. Michael Dell/Instagram

Michael Dell, Austin’s second richest person, hopes to enrich readers with a new tale about building his multibillion-dollar tech company.

Play Nice But Win: A CEO’s Journey from Founder to Leader is scheduled to be released October 5. Dell co-authored the book with biographer, novelist, and journalist James Kaplan. Play Nice But Win promises to tell “the inside story of the battles that defined him as a leader.”

Dell famously launched his tech company this week 37 years ago, in 1984, from his dorm room at the University of Texas. Today, Round Rock-based Dell Technologies is a $94.2 billion tech behemoth with close to 160,000 employees around the world.

Play Nice But Win is a riveting account of the three battles waged for Dell Technologies: one to launch it, one to keep it, and one to transform it,” according to a description of the book on Amazon. “For the first time, Dell reveals the highs and lows of the company’s evolution amidst a rapidly changing industry — and his own, as he matured into the CEO it needed.”

The Amazon overview says in the book, published by Portfolio, Dell recalls working with mentors; navigating relationships with rivals who became friends, foes, or both; and fending off “the sharks who circled, looking for weakness.”

“More than an honest portrait of a leader at a crossroads, Play Nice But Win is a survival story proving that while anyone with technological insight and entrepreneurial zeal might build something great — it takes a leader to build something that lasts,” Amazon says.

This isn’t Dell’s first book. He’s also the author of Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry, which HarperCollins published in 1999.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index lists Dell’s net worth at $50.6 billion as of May 2, making him the 27th richest person in the world. However, he’s no longer the richest person in Austin. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk now holds that title, with a net worth of $182 billion. Musk ranks as the world’s second richest person, behind Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.