The Laptop And The Notebook: A Fable

03/29/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Stanley Bing Fortune columnist and best-selling author of business books

Once upon a time there was a Laptop (AAPL) that belonged to a mid-sized wazir of the realm. It was a rather large laptop as laptops go, with a big, roomy heart filled with all kinds of good things, an impressive collection of ports, and big, strong hardware that could stand the test of any situation into which its owner might put it.

The Laptop had served its owner well for many moons and was proud of itself. "There is no function I cannot perform should my master demand it," it said to itself at times when it was charging, at rest after a long day at the office, on the couch at home, or on the road in a random hotel room somewhere. "Be it spreadsheet or word processing or even photography, I am up to the job." And then the Laptop slept as its owner did the same.

One day, when the market was doing nothing and American business was slogging through another day of senescence, lethargy and malaise, its owner was watching CNBC at his desk when a commercial came on. It showed a slender, lovely hand inserting a notebook computer into what looked like an 11″x14″ envelope. This Notebook was so thin and light that it only took one little hand to slip it into that small enclosure, and was silver and carried a sexy logo to which the owner had already formed a symbiotic attachment.

"Wow," said the owner, "Yum yum yum." And so are major purchasing decisions always made.