Dell to go Community Driven Feature Design in Latest Web Strategy “IdeaStorm”

Dell appears to be a company of the future, they’re opening the lines of communication using the web to build better products and services.

When I was invited by Lionel of Dell to hang with bloggers, customers, and press with Michael Dell in vegas in CES, he was very receptive to listening to the community. Now he’s manifested a new website that empowers Dell customers to submit ideas for feature improvements, vote up or down (is this wisdom of the crowd) and then working in a collaborative nature with Dell Engineers to really build the products that a customer wants to buy.

The online manifestations of this is called Dell IdeaStorm, which is really borrowing from Cluetrainish ideas, and nods to Johnathan Schwartz’s mantra that “intranets are anachronisms”. I do believe that the web is a platform that can allow customers and companies to build products efficiently and quickly using real time feedback. I hope this to become a shining example of how it could work. There’s more information of use on the About page.

[Companies of the Future will collaboratively design products with customers using web tools. These products will meet the specific needs of the people, reduce costs, and streamline the go-to-market process]

The lines of feedback appear to be very open to Dell, and even Michael Dell himself (who told us he reads blogs) as the official Dell blog announces they are accepting Videos from Dell users.

Not only do savvy companies of the future rely on their customers to aid in the product requirements and engineering process, but they can also rely on the community to help spread the word. I’m impressed, and hope this will live up to the potential I see it could have.

Update: Here’s an updated Blog Post from Dell that explains in their words what they’re up to.

Update 2:
I find is disappointing that after months (or is it years now) that the blogosphere has criticized Dell to listen and join the conversation that when Dell does something potentially amazing that folks miss the whole point and make it a Dell copies Digg meme rather than focusing on what’s really important –Dell is opening up to build better products.

Friends, please see the forest, not the branches on the trees.