One of the neat things about my new job is getting to play with, I mean, work with some cool products. Last week the HP Personal Systems Group (which I'm now in) had a big product launch in Berlin. I was happy when the launch date finally came, because I could finally talk openly about the products that I was playing with- oops!- I mean working with at work.
Before I introduce you to my new toys, let me wander into a little career advice since some readers told me that they missed this during my little blogging drought.
Back when I graduated from grad school and was looking for my first job (12 years ago!), one big thing I realized was that the company that you work for determines the kinds of projects that you can work on. In other words, your company sets the context for your work. This was very important from a research perspective, because your company's strategy determines which research problems are relevant or irrelevant, you should work on problems that relevant to your company, and thus this has a big influence on your research career. This not only applies to research, but is true for any field that you're in: research, engineering, design, business, marketing, sales, etc.
So, my two career tips from this little story are:
- Work on areas that are relevant to your company and your company's strategy!
- Work for a company that provides a context for the type of work that you believe in!
Note that this is related to Tip #10 in my Top 10 Career Tips:
- Align your work with your passions and strengths. Define your career accordingly.
To say this in a more playful way, I have always viewed that your company is your sandbox, and your company's current and future products are the toys in your sandbox, and these toys are the ones you get to play with and build on to do your work.
Okay, enough of the career advice. Let me introduce you to some of the new toys in my sandbox: Touch, Mini, and Slim! (This is not supposed to be a sales pitch, but I have to say that I love these products, so apologies in advance if it sounds like one.)
Touch is the new HP TouchSmart PC. It's the second generation of the TouchSmart product. Touch has a 22" widescreen with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. All the computer guts are built into the touch monitor, so all you do is plug in power and an ethernet connection. It comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse. The first version was bigger and boxier, and this version is much more streamlined and sleek. It's neat to see the evolution of the product as we refine it through improvements in technology (e.g., touch sensor technology, display technology, etc.) and through user testing and feedback. It's a neat new device category that we're driving. So far the blog posts have been fun to read and I can't wait to learn more from the new users of the product to get a well-rounded perspective. I'm really excited about the emergence and evolution of this category, and it will be neat to get more software developers going on this platform!
Mini is the new HP 2133 Mini-Note PC. It's so cute! (Sorry- I couldn't help myself.) It is less than 3 pounds and it has an 8.9 inch WXGA display. It comes with Linux or Vista. It has a cool aluminum case. When I first saw this model in an internal board meeting many months ago, I was immediately drawn to it. The first thing that came to my head is that this is just about to reach the size where I could put it in my purse and still have a fairly full computing experience (I say "fairly" because of the small display). It was slightly bigger than the purse that I had at the time, but I liked it so much that I was thinking that I would buy a slightly larger one so I could carry it around. This raises an interesting usage question that I'll have to write another post about: women like products that fit into their purse while men like products that fit in their pocket. So I wonder what will become of this new form factor of devices. Don't worry- it's not a women-only device. When we unboxed one in my lab the other day, all the men were equally excited about it and we all drooled equally! This is the product category of the Asus Eee PC and surely more competitors will emerge. An interesting this about this product category are the price points- baseline versions are at the sub-$500 level, which allows this fairly full computing experience to get to quite a few places.
Slim is the new ultra-thin notebook, the VooDoo Envy 133. It's 0.7 inches thick and is just over 3 pounds with a 13.3 inch display. It fully boots into Windows, but it has a quick boot Linux-based OS- another great topic for a future post! The upgraded version has a solid state drive for more money, of course. Unfortunately, I don't have one of these myself yet, but I have seen and touched them and they are pretty cool. My brother has been in the market for a laptop and I told him to hold off until this model came out. Bloggers are comparing this to the MacAir, which is .76 inches in the center and tapers out on the edges. These thin and light notebooks with full-size displays are very interesting and they change your coffee shop, airplane, and over-the-shoulder carrying experience. I like the thought of tucking this away in my slim bag neatly lined up with a writing notebook and a few folders. Slim looks and feels very crisp and sleek- very much in the VooDoo spirit!
My team's job is to look at next-gen software experiences for these and other HP personal computing products. All I can say is I have a fun sandbox to play in!
It's neat to see these emerging product categories evolving. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these categories, so here are a few questions:
- What do you think about these product categories (the good, the bad, and the ugly)?
- How do you think these product categories will evolve?
- How would you like to see these product categories evolve?
- What kinds of experiences would you like to see on these products?