It’s been quiet here for a while. Not sure anyone really noticed (or cared), what with the Thanksgiving holiday last week and all. Hope you enjoyed it, by the way.
Anyway, I’m emerging from a week-long flu fog courtesy of H1N1. That’s right, yours truly caught swine flu, and let me tell you, it wasn’t very fun.
That’s why it’s been quiet, in case you wanted an update.
While I was out, someone posted a comment to Connect about a video that caught my attention. I didn’t find the video terribly interesting, but the comment definitely was.
In a nutshell, the video is about how a guy used Lotus Connections as a support group to learn how to use his sexy new Macbook Pro at the office. I guess it’s clever, but I’m so over the characterizations of Macs as sex with no sizzle. Yes, Mac are sexy, but the superiority of their design goes way beyond looks, as I’ve covered in the past.
So, the commenter liked the video but disliked the message, i.e. this guy wasted his time making his Mac work and worse, soaked up other people’s time on non-work issues related to his Mac, thereby lowering overall productivity. The video makes this seem like a good thing.
Further, the commenter posited that the man was no more productive on a Mac than he was previously on a PC.
This caught my eye because, I’ve heard Paul say many times in the past that he is more productive on a Mac, in so many words.
And yes, this comes up more often than you’d think. Since we are an all-Mac team, we tend to stick out in mixed company. The first question people ask is if Oracle paid for our Macs. Oracle did not.
Then, they usually drill down on why we’d use personal assets for work, which prompts Paul’s answer about productivity.
My answer is different. I usually cite personal preference, dislike of MSFT products, or similar.
But productivity is difficult to quantify. I feel like Paul’s assertion fits me, but it’s impossible to prove.
Thinking about it, I guess the productivity gain boils down to work vs. knowing how something works.
On a Mac, I just work. On a Windows box, I know how things work, but I had to learn that over time.
An example is PowerPoint vs. Keynote.
To Paul’s point, I can crank out beautiful presentations and mockups in Keynote in a fraction of the time the same tasks take in PowerPoint, and I’ve used PowerPoint for 13 years, Keynote only two.
Granted, some of what I learned from PowerPoint translates to Keynote, but using them both really underscores how much easier Keynote is to use.
I used and supported Windows for many years, therefore I know a lot about it and can usually fix my own issues. However, those who don’t know as much ask IT, which is a variable cost.
So, keeping them productive carries the additional cost of IT, which should be in the overall calculation of productivity.
Community support is not a cost. If I spend time answering questions about how to configure Macs, I am still responsible for my work duties. If I don’t complete them on time, I lose my job. Therefore, if I commit to helping people with non-work issues, I understand that I must also complete my work duties, and I commit the necessary time to doing both.
So, yes, I may be less productive because I spend more total time on these tasks, but my lower productivity does not affect the company.
You could argue that my community support actually boosts overall productivity by providing IT services at no cost, thereby freeing IT resources for other projects.
That might be a stretch, but having been in IT, I know there are always projects competing with regular support for time and resources.
Yeah, this is a very broad generalization and doesn’t apply to everyone equally. Yada, yada, disclaimer.
So what do you think? Have comparisons to share between your Mac and Windows experiences? Do you work on a Mac? If so, why? Are you a Windows person who thinks we’re full of drop shadows and rounded corners?
Are Paul and I right about being more productive on a Mac? Can you prove or disprove?
Find the comments.