On Rationality

Benjamin De Cock,

About two months ago I started working for Stripe as a freelancer. I design for them 2 weeks a month, one week out of their SF office, the other from my home in Belgium. It worked pretty well, but as an iMac user, I had to use one of their Macs when working away from home. It wasn't really comfortable. Sure, there's Dropbox, iCloud and more, but there are an awful lot of tiny settings, custom development bundles, Fireworks preferences, and so on you completely forget and really miss when you don't have them. They kindly offered me to choose whatever new laptop I wanted to make my workflow easier. It turns on that was a pretty tough decision.

I was obviously tempted by the MacBook Air, but it wasn't a reasonable choice. I don't really need something incredibly thin and light, I just take my laptop once a month to SF in my backpack and it's always plugged to an external 27" the rest of the time (I use my iPad a lot). So, without any hesitation, the MacBook Pro was a better choice. I mean, just compare the specs:

Kind of an obvious choice right? Well, I chose the MacBook Air. I knew it wasn't a rational choice. Actually, it's a pretty stupid choice, but I couldn't be happier to have followed my intuitions instead of a cold analysis of the specs.

I suspect many people are acting like me. I think this "emotional spec" is incredibly powerful, and it's the only spec that can't be written in a comparison table. I think Apple understood that, and I guess it's one of—if not the—reason the other companies fail miserably when trying to clone Apple's products. I also guess that's why Apple is selling so well to teenagers and non-tech savvy people: they don't compare CPU frequencies.