I admit to being an Apple fanboy. Let's get that out of the way.
I bought Microsoft-based products from 1986 to 2004. In those 18 years the only thing to feel good about was your expertise with fixes and “work a rounds” in the Microsoft world. Eventually I found that I didn’t feel good about this expertise any longer. What I felt was exploited.
Counting computers for my architectural firm, I have purchased about 50 PCs. I personally used eight of them. Every single one of them came with a new operating system. Each one marginally better than the last. Wouldn't you think that after three decades you would have the design of an operating system NAILED? Especially at $200+ per copy times a gazillion copies.
Today I am installing Apple’s new OS X Mavericks on my second Mac. The first Mac was a 21" iMac. It worked great for 15 months and then figuratively burned up (overheating problem). Apple fixed it for free for five years on a one year warranty. Despite the one week out of each year that it was in the shop, I liked using it more than any PC that I’d had. I upgraded the operating system by myself twice ($129 each time). I don’t know anyone who would look forward to updating Windows themselves. In 2009 I bought a 13" MacBook for the portability. Mavericks is the fourth OS upgrade I’ve done on it. Most of those OS upgrades cost $29. This one is free.
Apple has been making operating systems for about three decades, too. The difference: they do have the design of an operating system NAILED.
Mavericks took two hours to install including downloading the software. The process was absolutely painless. I was given back my familiar desktop along with some new programs added to the Dock - iBooks, Pages and Numbers (new versions), Maps, Messages. The Mavericks OS also includes a major update to Calendar, the addition of Tags, which lets you tag everything on a topic so you can pull it together from wherever it is filed, iCloud integration for all your Apple stuff, added Notification Center like on the iPhone, and added Tabs to Finder so you only need one window to view numerous folders.
Apple understands that the end user has to be happy and knows how to make that happen. That is the fundamental difference between Apple and Microsoft.
#Mavericks #Tools #Technology
Over the past year we have published a number of articles on management of a design firm. Some focused on using tools, others on procedures, and still others that focused on concepts.
Collected below are links to six of those articles, which give a sampling of the past management-related articles.
Documenting your unique methods is the first step in improving and sharing your way of doing things - anything.
Math and Architects
What are the math problems and what are the tools? Do architects need to know a lot of math?
Fee As A Percentage
A brief history of percentage fees and an example of one in use today.
Examples of agreements created to be easy to implement in minutes rather than hours.
The Kolbe System
An overview of the Kolbe System and how it can help you understand yourself and those you work with.
The Six Thinking Hats
A quick book review of Edward Debono's brief, classic book on thinking. Everybody can learn something here.
If you are interested in more articles like these, this link will take you to many more.
I recently completed a six part series of posts on accounting for the small architectural or design firm. Here is a quick outline and the links to each article.
Part 1 - Invoicing
What you need to do to get the invoices out the door.
Part 2 - Paying Bills
What you need to do to stay on top of paying your bills.
Part 3 - A Simple System
How to use your online checking account and some spreadsheets to do your bookkeeping.
Part 4 - Other Accounting Issues
Other tasks to consider when you are taking care of bookkeeping.
Part 5 - Software Criteria
What to look for in an online service to help you do the bookkeeping.
Part 6 - Software Comparison
A comparison of 14 online bookkeeping services that we have used, experimented with or simply researched.
Hope this helps if you are considering a change for next year, trying to get bookkeeping set up, or looking for some resources.
Our Business Development Articles
Architekwiki has over 20 articles on Business Development / Marketing for your use. This Business Development link will take you to the most recent 10 or so. Click "<<previous" when you reach the bottom to get to the next batch.
The articles you will find at that link:
Star Architects are one of my pet peeves. Another is the LEED certification process. So I got a two-fer when I listened to this interview with Professor Jonathan Ochshorn, the author of the Critique of Milstein Hall, which was designed by Rem Koolhaas.
@Archinect reported on the controversy recently, providing a link to the interview that Enoch Sears, @BusinessOfArch, conducted with Professor Ochshorn. The actual critique can be found on Professor Ochshorn's site.
The interview is well worth the time (45 min) spent listening. Professor Ochshorn gives a very convincing explanation of how buildings that push the envelope get themselves into trouble because they become divorced from construction technology. This is something that only began to happen in the past 50 - 75 years after millennia of architecture that was always married to construction technology.
He also explains how LEED Gold Certification was earned by the Milstein project by layering enough sustainability credits onto a building that is inherently uninterested in sustainability. This is the dirty little secret of LEED certification - most LEED buildings do not perform better than normal buildings despite the extra time and extra cost invested in them.
Give the links a looks. There is more here than meets the eye.