Current return on $10,000: $1.5 million
Michael Dell already was building computers at just 15 years old, and it turned into a fast-growing business when he attended the University of Texas. Of course, he dropped out to launch his self-named company, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL).
The company rode the surge in the PC revolution and it came public in 1988. Within just nine years, the stock would snag a 100X return.
But the key to Dell’s success wasn’t just the products — it was a change in the company’s business model. To reduce its inventory costs, Dell adopted a built-to-order manufacturing model, which resulted in much higher cash flows and profits.