Last night and this morning I conducted 2 experiments.
The first experiment was last night before I went to bed, where I timed how long it took my work laptop, running windows XP to shut down. 4 minutes 20 seconds.
I think you can probably guess that the next experiment was to test the time it took to boot up. 3 minutes.
Now, I’ve read people make the same point that I’m about to make several times. The most famous being Joel Spolsky, in his blog and books. The point was really driven home when I attended the Cambridge dev days conference 2009 and was told that at the first conferences, during the breaks they had set up a stall offering to upgrade the ram in your laptop to it’s maximum, for FREE. This was how important Joel thinks it is for people to have the best equipment available to him.
For two years I have accepted the equipment I was given as one of life’s little endurance tests. Everybody got the same. Accept it and move on.
But last night, after writing my hat change blog post, I realised something really obvious. For two years, I have started and shut down that laptop on average once a day if not more. There are 365 days in one year. 4.2 + 3 = 7.2 minutes a day. Waiting. Waiting for my equipment to be usable. 365 times 2 years is 730 days * 7.2 = 5265 minutes. 5265 minutes can also be said as 3.65 days, or if we talking working days (8 hours) 10.96 days.
Over the last 2 years I have wasted 10.96 WORKING DAYS of my F*UCKING LIFE WAITING FOR A CRAPPY LAPTOP TO SHUT DOWN AND BOOT UP.
To put that in terms a businessman can understand, my daily charge out rate for the company is somewhere in the ball park of £1,000 per day. That means, someone has paid £11,000 over the last two years for me to stand around waiting for my laptop.
Now, I’m no financial genius, but it seems to me, for £11,000 I could buy some pretty shit hot equipment. I mean for 3k I could buy a pretty amazing laptop and still have 8k to play with. The scary thing is when you multiply this by the number of people working in the company it gets into the tens of millions per year wasted.
I guess my overall point is the people who you work for are your most important asset, you should be proactively giving them equipment to try to enable them to do their job as efficiently as possible and grow them as much as you can as they are what is making you money.
I just finished watching Bill Gates’ latest TED talk on his new mission to solve the energy problem.
Thinking back to this blog entry I started to wonder how much of an impact the inefficient equipment we provide people wastes valuable human resources and adds to our carbon debt, and how efficiency is actually every bodies problem, not just the concern of the rich. Also it was annoying because my broadband connection sucks making the video take 45 mins to watch rather than 27 mins. I wondered how much extra carbon shoddy services from Giant companies like Virgin media and BT end up pumping into the environment.