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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

“Plant a Tree, Save My Company!”

Michael S. Dell, who made his name building computers, has a new goal: planting trees.

In a speech Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show here, Mr. Dell urged the electronics industry to foster the planting of trees to offset the effect on the environment of the energy consumed by the devices they make.

—New York Times

While Steve Jobs was, once again, changing the known world—this time with a device whose major flaw may be its name (the “iPhone” is no more a mere “phone” than it is a tomato)— Michael Dell, who once dominated the personal computing world with his low cost, low reliability, low service business model, was rather desperately attempting to change his company’s image with a challenge:

“I challenge every PC vendor in the industry to join us in providing free recycling.” What Mr. Dell means to do is to recycle the carbon emissions generated by the electrical demand from computers through the founding of a program called “Plant a Tree for Me.” Nice as the thought is that one of our Captains of Industry is interested in something other than building the biggest house in Portola Valley or sending paying customers on rocket-based joy rides to the outer atmosphere from the Texas flatlands, there does not appear to be a whole lot of thought behind this notion. According to the Times:

Customers would donate $2 for every notebook computer they buy and $6 for every desktop PC. The money would be given to the Conservation Fund and the Carbonfund, two non-profit groups that promote ways to reduce or offset carbon emissions, to buy and plant trees. Now, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, you’re thinking “What kind of tree does six bucks buy, let alone two?”

Answer: a Dell Tree.

Let’s just hope the Conservation Fund and the Carbonfund have better customer service reps than the folks at Dell. They’re gonna need ‘em.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

© 2007 Jeff Matthews

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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