Are netbooks bottlenecks on your workflow?

** Originally published on www.theentrepreneurnotes.com **
Sony Vaio W
We finally saw it this morning, Sony, who for years had made the small and portable machines (for high-end executives) decided to bring a netbook into the picture. The new Sony W marks an important moment in the netbook timeline, the almost impossible happened, Sony joined the race. For more info you can go and read on this link: http://jkontherun.com/2009/07/07/netbooks-finally-exist-sony-vaio-w-to-hit-for-499/
Around September 2000 I ditched my desktop; I saw no reason to have it anymore. I used word, excel, powerpoint (now I like pages, numbers and keynote more) internet, email, and a couple of light resources applications. I did not need a really fast and powerful machine. At that time I decided to settle for an Orange iBook, ditched the desktop and moved to one computer and a palm. That set-up worked great with many new machines, Mac and Windows, and I always had a Palm (or Treo or iPhone) and one Laptop.
On 2008, on the verge of things getting busier and complicated (I was using PCs at the time, I had left Mac behind) I went back to multiple machines, set an Exchange Server up (to keep email, notes, contacts and calendars in sync) and set the files to sync between the different machines. I had a big and powerful laptop that acted as a desktop, connected to a second monitor, and in my office, that machine never left the desk, and a Tablet PC, that was the mobile laptop. I had an HP Tablet with an extended battery. I was able to work without charging the battery for more than 12 hours; a perfect portable machine. When the netbooks started to hit the market, I went and got one, those perfect little machines where going to help and improve the system. I went and got myself one, set it up, included it into my system and I now had a computer with me always (in addition to my iPhone). Four months later I bough a Mac.
At the beginning of 2009, I went back to the one machine (laptop) one palm (iPhone) configuration that serve me well, can you blame it on the netbook? the desktop? the tablet? (or laptop?)
The reality is that the system was too complex. I wear many hats: entrepreneur, sales manager, writer, podcaster, family guy,father, husband, son; and all these computers and complicated synchronization issues were slowing me down. After spending some time thinking of my favorite thinking tool Mindjet MindManager (www.mindjet.com) (and by the way, my maps used to sync in all those machines) I began thinking of the bottleneck. As an entrepreneur we need to always be in search of the bottleneck, the problem. In the book “The Goal’ by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox (http://www.amazon.com/Goal-Process-Ongoing-Improvement/dp/0884271781/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246986197&sr=8-1) the main character is explaining theory of constrains trough the novel, and explaining the concept of the bottleneck, the book clearly states that the system can only go, as fast as the bottleneck.
I have played with many netbooks and desktops, but I found that mostly they slow my workflow down. They become the bottleneck; and based on the principles of The Goal, they will set the speed of the rest of my system. I do not think that a netbook, as we know them today, will be a final solution. I typed for years on my Palm with the foldable keyboard, did the job, but it was not the best solution.
I established some years ago, that my play environment and my production environment would not mix. I use a Mac with an iPhone; I have another laptop to play with, if anything goes wrong on the play laptop, I fix it at the first available time.
Going back to the topic, the problem with desktops, laptops and netbooks is simply a bottleneck issue. I know people that use different combinations of these, desktop only, laptop only, personal-work computers, and many different others. I even have a good friend that had a laptop just for write, nothing else, the question is where is your bottleneck.
Again it all comes back to your workflow and your work style. In my case, I use one laptop and one iPhone. If changes in the future force me to change this structure, I will pay attention to the bottlenecks, but for now I do not see a netbook on my near future, the concept as it is today it is just a big bottleneck to my workflow.
Have you ever considered a netbook? Have you ever stoped and evaluated the bottlenecks in your process? Are you using a desktop and find that you cannot access to your information on the go? Lets open the discussion.


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Augusto Pinaud

Augusto Pinaud es Coach de Tecnología de Productividad Bilingüe, Especialista en Nozbe Teams. Augusto trabaja con dueños y gerentes de pequeñas empresas, ejecutivos y profesionales en productividad, tecnología y mejora de procesos utilizando una variedad de tecnologías de productividad.

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