A college kid starts a tech company from his dorm room.

It gets big quickly. He grows into the CEO role, sees wild success, and quickly finds his name plastered all over (including on the cover of magazines). When the company goes public, he makes more money than he ever likely dreamed of.

Ultimately, he becomes a multi-billionaire.

You've heard that one before, but this time the story has a twist.

Because after his initial success, the founder steps down as CEO, later returns, and realizes the company's core business needs a complete relaunch. So he finds investors to help him go private, makes a giant acquisition and redesigns the business -- and then, according to a report this week -- gets ready to take it public a second time.

The college kid-turned-billionaire CEO in this story: Michael Dell, who launched his eponymous company at the University of Texas-Austin in 1984. He was named the first Inc. entrepreneur of the year in 1989, and now his newly reformed tech firm is on the cusp of being a public company once again.

It's a story that just doesn't seem to have an ending, and it will will be on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol DELL once more, by December 28.

Here's what else I'm reading today:

You need more women on your company's board

How many women, exactly? Three, according to researchers at executive search firm Egon Zehnder, who say that's the tipping point where the women are more likely to speak _and_ be listened to. A separate study from indexing and analytics firm MSCI says having at least three women on your board is profitable, too. The number is, of course, a minimum.  Feel free to aim higher. 
--Cassie Werber, Quartz

How to finish the holiday sales season on top

Sure, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, but that doesn't mean your holiday sales season has to end. After all, there are still two more weekends between now and Christmas--so check out these six tips for reeling in last-minute shoppers. The best part: They're all free.

Avocados and pineapples and peaches, oh my

If you're still getting the standard swag from conferences--like Frisbees or stress balls--you're seriously missing out. The latest trend is branded food, and no, that doesn't mean food in a branded container. At a recent event, Lyft handed out avocados printed with its logo. AT&T has used branded pineapples. Twitter went with branded peaches. Soundcloud? Branded radishes. So much better than the disposable stuff (unless you don't like radishes). 
--Elizabeth Segran, Fast Company

Today in M&A

Entrepreneur Tristan Walker built a grooming brand focused specifically on a demographic many of the big brands don't target: people of color. Now a big brand is scooping it up: Procter & Gamble bought Walker and Company in a deal Recode estimates to be between $20 million and $40 million.
--Jason Del Rey, Recode

Geena Davis is tackling Hollywood's diversity problem

Back in 2004, long before #MeToo, actor Geena Davis started tracking diversity stats in Hollywood. Armed with 14 years of data, she's been quietly working behind the scenes to change the industry's gender dynamics. Here she talks to Inc. about why fictional role models matter and why she's generally avoided public confrontations on gender diversity.
--Maria Aspan, Inc.
 

Published on: Dec 12, 2018
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