Thoughts on the Five Percent Nation
I go to a lot of conferences. It goes hand in hand with the whole media / marketing / web2.0 world I live in. We all get in planes and fly halfway across the planet to talk about blogging and life online when we could have done it all from the comfort of our own home offices (and in the comfort of our boxers).
I know us Mac users are supposed to be in the minority, but it seems like every conference I go to, I’m surrounded by other PowerBooks. These are creative, marketing types - some bloggers, some web developers, coders, ad people, bloggers, podcasters and the like. Sometimes all at the same time. Mainly the sort of people you see in Silicon Valley coffee shops honing their latest business plans.
In fact the only Windows machines I see at these conferences are used by people who either work for a big company that requires a Windows platform, or they work for Microsoft.
Thinking out loud yesterday at just such a conference I said, “if us Mac users are only five percent, it seems like it’s the five percent that shows up to these things.” To which someone added, “yeah, the right five percent.”
I got the flip side on the plane on the way home. The guy sitting in the row next to mine saw my PowerBook and snorted, “if Steve Jobs were smarter in the 1990’s they’d have a real share of the PC market.”
I had two responses*. First of all, considering his recent financial and business dealings, saying Steve Jobs is smart is an understatement. He’s a genius who now owns more of Disney than anyone since Walt himself. Talk about laughing all the way to the bank. And second of all, five percent of the world PC market is pretty good. In fact it’s better than good, it’s amazing. I’m sure just a sliver of the world’s PC market is worth billions.
The point is, don’t obsess over numbers. One, two or three percent in a global economy is a lot of boxes. And most important, don’t listen to people on planes.
*Actually I kept my mouth shut and pretended I couldn’t hear him. If you’ve been following along and read my review of the Etymotic 6i earphones, you’d know I don’t like to talk to people on planes.