Quick review: MacBook Air 11″

I picked up the new MacBook Air 11" yesterday.

Lots of folks aren’t interested in the 11". The battery life isnt as good as the 13" model, the processor is slower and there isn’t a built in SD-card slot. And I wouldn’t recommend this model as your one and only computer. 

But for me this thing is a game changer.

I travel a lot and the size of the 11" MacBook Air is perfect for me. It’s hard to describe how small & light the 11" feels. For me, it’s substantially smaller than the 13" Air. I can take this everywhere. The keyboard is sweet and so is the display. This computer feels significantly faster than my older macbook air too. 

I haven’t given the battery a full test drive yet but everything I’ve read online suggests that I should be able to get 4.5 hours on a full charge. That’s fine for my needs. 

The only thing I wish apple included was built in 3g like the ipad. That would make this absolutely perfect. I bet it’s in the next version. 

Rewarding vs bribing your users

Since I moved back to boston, my favorite place for coffee in the back bay is Cafe L’aroma. It has gone through a few ownership changes since then but i still love it.

Like many coffee places they give you a loyalty card like this. Every ten purchases you get an espresso drink for free

Some days I use it and many days I forget it. I don’t goto cafe l’aroma because of this card. I just like it better and the card is a reward or a nice bonus of sorts.

There are other places on the web or the physical world that take the opposite approach. They try to buy your love. I don’t want to pick on any specific company so I’ll share an example from the past.

Years ago there was a search engine that would pay users directly for using their product. The value proposition : most search engines are about the same so use ours and get paid.

What they really meant was : our product isn’t amazing so we are trying to buy you.

That search engine didnt work out. The better search engine did and continues to the leader. Back in web 1.0 there were other startups that tried to buy your love as well. 

I think it’s important for startups to consider as well. Reward your users, don’t bribe them.

On the other hand, some startups do this reward thing very well.

In the earliest days of Foursquare, i remember getting an email from the service that informed me that I had reached “superuser” status. That gave me some some special super powers like being able to clean up and edit the venue database. It was absolutely brilliant. Status and value are fantastic rewards. There are many others examples. 

So think about product first, rewards second and don’t try the bribes.