I want to build and sell premium desktop PC systems (like Alienware and the like) in a poor country where almost all computers sold are netbooks, cheap notebooks and 'beige boxes' (although nowadays they're mostly black). What's the best way to do it?
why do you want to sell premium desktops in a country that can't afford it?
there is no market there.
just try making generic desktops and sell them first
Well there are a bunch of generic desktop builders around and I can't compete with them because they have good prices, good service and good distribution chains. However... they're not selling what I'd call gaming machines and they're not selling HTPCs. For those machines that they do sell, the cases they use are cheap and ugly, the power supplies and fans are cheap and loud, SLI/Crossfire capable motherboards are a rarity even in "gaming machines", systems accumulate dust and overheat in the summer, a power surge is enough to fry half the components, you get the idea.
Another problem they have is how they present their products. For example there's SuperTech Hurricane3000, then they list all the components and list the price. How is a 3D artist or a video editor supposed to know whether to buy the Hurricane3000 or Hypernova GT? Of course he could ask the ignorant teenagers that work there but I talked to them and they can barely tell a USB flash drive from a Bluetooth dongle, let alone what's the best configuration for Maya and Premiere.
And there is only one size for computers in this country - midi tower, whether it's a Celeron or i7.
As for the market, we have a few Apple stores, we have luxury car dealerships and we have Bang & f#@$ing Olufsen so I figure we need at least one premium PC manufacturer... for those few people that have money and want the best but are not into building anything themselves because they're busy being movie stars, leaders of industry, corrupt politicians and the like. Actually I'm going for creative professionals, gamers and people who want proper HTPCs next to their B&O televisions.
Meanwhile, my friends are very impressed with my whisper quiet powerful systems and always bug me to upgrade their prebuilt machines. Of course my friends can go to hell, I want to start a business so I'm looking for ideas how to start something like this, obviously with as little risk and investment as possible.
You can go big and probably lose your shirt, or build up a business word of mouth. Build some of your friends systems up (for a reasonable price). Build a nice system up and put out for sale in the want ads.
Word of mouth will be based on people having a good experience and trusting you personally to deliver.