When Steve Jobs came back to Apple from NeXt, he started the idea of a product matrix. That is, a set of questions (in his case two) that would allow Apple to give the right computer to the end user with little hassle. Here were his two questions:

  • Are you a consumer or a professional?: Basically put, a consumer would be rather new to computers or lack the classic "Mac Geek" quality, they'd like the basic system configuration with no real heavy duty hardware. Chances are, this user would also require the basic software bundle, as they may not already have a decent word processor like, or any games to amuse themselves with. The consumer is really not the type to need one gig of RAM, as chances are they won't be compiling OpenOffice for their own anytime soon. A professional, on the other hand, would need a high-end system; they might end up developing software and compiling massive applications, or using system intensive software.
  • Do you want a laptop or a desktop?: This question gives an excellent impression of the client. Laptops are usually assocated with people on the go (Eg: Busness men, or students). Most people DON'T put a laptop in their den, as it's just a waste of money (a desktop would be cheaper). Personally, I'd be more of a desktop man. I don't travel, and I really don't have the extra moolah for a laptop.

So what would Jobs Matrix suugest for me? Well, I'm a professional and I'd need a desktop. The questions would suggest for me a high-end G4, with OS X pre-installed. I'm a software developer, and I do a lot of graphic design. And it fits; most professionals as I have suggested wouldn't need software bundles, I already own Photoshop, why would I want a Claris Draw CD?. If I was a traveling person, however I might prefer a laptop, so a Powerbook would be suggested to me.

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