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+1 to counteract the downvotes. This turns me off too. I know they're a Rails shop, and that's super popular with hardcore Apple fans, but Ruby code doesn't seem to mind when I write it on my Windows laptop. When I chose my machine, it outspec'd the MBP in every way (from screen to SSD/RAM to build quality) for less money -- not a valuable mindset at an early startup? The host OS doesn't matter all that much when you spend half your time SSH'd into Linux servers anyway.

   not a valuable mindset at an early startup?
This is what irks me, too. The startup I was working at (somewhere in Europe) was always short on money (there wasn't any VC funding), and I get it that this meant having to cut corners anywhere. But then the owner started to outfit every new employee with the latest mac book and a cinema display - for roughly 9000$. I had a (good) Thinkpad and a standard 24" monitor for a third of that price. Why they decided to throw out that much money on Apple while I couldn't order a spare keyboard I don't know.

On what planet does even the highest-specced MacBook Pro + external display cost even remotely close to $9000?

Welcome to Europe. Taxes, customs, shipping + crazy markup, and this is what you get: http://www.epli.is/tolvur/fartolvur/macbook-pro-15-retina-2-... - high specced rMBP is ~$4500. Add a monitor and and iphone and you're already there, at least pretty close.

Is there no better place to buy from? You can't buy from Apple directly? Because the markup on that linked store is absolutely insane.

> outspec'd the MBP in every way ... for less money

You're falling into the consumer trap of thinking of the value of an item as its initial, un-depreciated cost. Apple products are almost liquid assets--you can sell them for large fractions of their original purchase price for years after you buy them. Whereas most PCs, like cars, plummet in value the moment you take them off the "lot." Which do you think a startup would rather put on its balance sheet?

Also, because Apple products don't tend to depreciate very quickly in the market, Apple is willing to re-attain their own products after lending them to you for a while: they maintain a very competitive leasing program for businesses (http://www.apple.com/financing/business.html), which you can get into as soon as you want to lease $5000 worth of hardware (i.e. as soon as you're at least a two-person shop.) This is basically the Heroku/AWS of computer hardware: you need fifty laptops for a year? Pay as you go. Want to upgrade? Return them and get new ones, no charge. Business fail? Send everything back, you're good. Business succeed? You can buy the stuff out.

I would bet [fairly large amounts of money] that the majority of startup in SV/SF who keep Apple hardware are on that leasing plan. As soon as you mention anything about "starting a business" around an Apple Store employee, they throw someone in a black shirt at you to explain it.

his point is that a startup should be resourceful period. a startup doesn't have to think of liquidating their assets unless they are going out of business. I use a 10yrs old ibm thinkpad. I've been hacking Unix systems 1994 and started writing C/x86 asm back then. I get odd looks when I go to meetups and pull out my old clunky hardware. I bought it for $100 3 years ago, it works great for me. No matter how fast/sexy my machine is, it doesn't write the code. I do! I've always stayed with older machines due to an experience I had around 97. I had an IRC friend in Poland, he had a 8086 machine. I had a 486 or possibly early pentium. He wrote a routine that was way faster than mine because his only experience was through his 8086, so he had to make it fast enough for himself. I realize that having top of the line hardware puts me at a disadvantage, I can't assume that most of my customers are going to use the latest. I work as if they are going to use the slowest. Th e only time to code with the latest/shiny is multimedia intense projects like game development. Web development? You can use a 15yr old computer.

> The only time to code with the latest/shiny is multimedia intense projects like game development.

Your anecdote was exactly the refutation of this statement. :) Game developers are often encouraged to work on median-spec systems because games are expected to run on a variety of configurations. You don't want to develop The Sims on a quad-core Xeon with multiple GT680s, only to find that it doesn't run on your mom's 2005 Core 2 Duo with integrated graphics. The people working with the asset pipeline/level editor might want some extra horsepower (end-users aren't expected to be able to run the level-editor, so it's usually not very optimized) but the programmers don't frequently need it.

Also, though, I disagree with this:

> a startup doesn't have to think of liquidating their assets unless they are going out of business

The most important thing to keep in mind, as any sort of business owner, is your BATNA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_alternative_to_a_negotiate...). It drives all your major decisions--should we raise funding, should we get acquired, should we IPO, should we declare bankruptcy, etc. And the "baseline" BATNA is always "how much money would we have as runway if we just liquidated everything, fired everyone, and started over?" It shouldn't be a consideration, but it should always be a benchmark to observe your distance from. More liquid assets means more negotiating room, basically.

But really, my point wasn't about liquidating assets, it was mostly about cashflow. A startup, like any business, both earns and spends money. Leasing means you have more cashflow. It's the same reason you don't buy physical servers right away--you don't want to lock that money up if you don't know if you'll need it.

> When I chose my machine, it outspec'd the MBP in every way


> to build quality

What, praytell, did you buy?

A first-generation HP Envy 14. This was about 3 years ago, long before Retina:

* Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 160GB SSD

* 1600x900 14" IPS "Radiance" panel

* Switchable graphics (Intel integrated / Radeon discrete)

* Backlit island-style keyboard with oversized multitouch touchpad

* Amazing build quality (aluminum-magnesium alloy case, no plastic, slot-loading disc drive, edge-to-edge glass)

It was, essentially, an MBP clone, with an objectively better display panel, lower price tag at the same configurations, and Windows 7 instead of OS X. 3 years later it's still in perfect condition it was built so solidly. Unfortunately HP ruined the brand name by applying it to cheaper, inferior laptops in the years since, so you can't compare it to an "Envy" today.

@bluedino: It was just as sleek, with the same pixel density as the best screen you could custom order for an MBP, but better brightness & contrast. Here's what it looked like next to an MBP of that time: http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2011/11/d929dd...

I wonder why this brand ruination happened: did some manager at HP have a P&L compensation setup so that by cheapening the product he got a bigger bonus for a year or two?

He means in every spec other than sleekness and screen.

Apple fans are apple fans because of the OS and the industrial design... not the hardware specs.

Industrial design _is_ a hardware spec.

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