Think back to the last time that you opened your computer. Did you ever stop to think, even for just a moment, who built it? Who designed the computer that powers everything that you do? Who programmed the software that connects you to every other computer in the world? Who is behind this marvelous blend of the physical and digital? It is doers. It is people who set a goal of doing something amazing, and then doing exactly that. But over time, we come to take for granted everything that has been accomplished.
Now take the idea of going supersonic in a car. Seems crazy, doesn’t it? The North American Eagle project started out as exactly that, a crazy idea, to do something incredible. Like so many other concepts of the sort, every step on the road to going supersonic has been made possible by doers. It’s an undertaking that would be simply impossible were it not for massive support, from companies like Lenovo. Now this idea of doers is not new, it actually comes from Lenovo’s motto, “For Those Who Do”. It is particularly apt for this project, speaking to the ethos of everything we do.
A little over a month ago, a box arrived at my door. In it was the very latest from Lenovo, the ThinkPad P50s. In fact, it wasn’t even available for sale until the week after it arrived. For me, it would be the tool I needed to fulfill my dream of telling the story of the North American Eagle, and the journey so far. Taking the machine out of the box, my immediate reaction was of stark surprise. I had become accustomed to the idea that for there to be true power in a computer, it needed to be either a desktop workstation, or a bulky laptop that would drag upon your back wherever you carried it. This however, was neither. It was the compromise that spoke to both the power of a workstation, while still meeting the portability needs of many professionals today.
Immediately upon opening the box, and pulling the computer out, something in the corner of the box caught my eye. It was the charger. You wouldn’t think anything special about the charger, right? It’s something that’s necessary for the computer to even become usable. The reason that it caught my eye was the size of it. The charger was small and light enough to hold in one hand, quite easily. This blew me away after having used the behemoth that came with the W530. The W530 charger put some bricks to shame. This however was nothing of the sort. The charger that came with this new computer felt portable, something that you could slip into just about any bag, and barely even notice that it was there. That was the critical mistake that I made. Even though it was so much easier to bring the charger with me, the truth was that I just didn’t need it. With the battery on the P50s, I could keep going all day without ever having to recharge. Something important to understand is that with all of the time that I spend between my college education and projects for the North American Eagle, I end up needing a computer throughout my entire day. This ThinkPad offered me unparalleled battery power to make it through my entire day without recharging. This is very rare indeed, especially in the workstation category.
One of the things that I constantly run into with computers is that they feel sluggish to me, like they just can’t quite keep up. Even though a computer may be more than powerful enough to keep up with me, there is something about it that makes it feel like it’s not quite fast enough. The ThinkPad P50s is quite the opposite. This computer is a joy to use, and it lacks the sluggishness that I find myself encountering with so many other computers. Because of this, it makes me feel like I can keep going with my work, that I’m not becoming bogged down by the computer that I’m using. For me, this is more important than anything else. No matter what I’m doing, whether it’s designing a new cloud architecture or a story series, the computer never seems to fall behind. When the computer is no longer a bottleneck to your work, but an accelerator to it, it makes all the difference in the world. That’s what this computer is. Everything just works together the way it was meant to, so that I can focus on what matters.
For me, this computer started off as a tool. Something to get my work done on. But that was the wrong way to think about it. It became something more than just a tool, it became a way to build something that boggles the mind. In building a supersonic car, the history behind the North American Eagle is amazingly rich, but largely untold. My goal for this year has been to be able to tell that story. The ThinkPad P50s is how I am able to make all of that happen. It is something that enables doers to push forward, to do more, and to dream a little bit bigger. So the next time that you open your computer, turn on your television, or drive your car, stop a think for just a moment. Think of the doers who made all of it possible, who are changing the world every day.