Financial Models

A financial model is a way to take a set of assumptions (costs, revenue, etc.) and model a business to give you some semblance of what your actual operating financials might look like. One of my businesses is a software company (which is, in my opinion, the best type of business to be in but that is a post for another day). There are all sorts of metrics that apply to a SAAS (software as a service) model that can impact your financials.  Things like customer acquisition costs, churn, and lifetime value. 

If you’re thinking about pursuing an idea it makes sense to run some rough numbers to determine if your efforts might be worthwhile. I usually start with a calculator and/or a basic spreadsheet and if things start feeling good you can start to dive in a bit deeper. 

I came across a model years ago from Taylor Davidson that does an excellent job at taking an idea and determining if the economics work. He’s continued to update it and add value- it’s a really fantastic tool. You can get a copy at http://foresight.is.

New MacBook Review

I’ve been using the new MacBook for about two weeks now. I bought it one day in the mall on a whim and haven’t looked back since.

The Good
It seems like lately I’m constantly on the go, whether it be to meetings or on a plane. I’m carrying a bag that usually has a some files, a notebook, an iPad mini, charging cords, external batteries, headphones, etc. and I’ve tried to be really conscious about getting the weight down. This accomplishes my portability goals in a big way. The laptop itself is really lightweight.

In addition to being lightweight, it’s also silent. It has no fans. Some people have complained that it gets hot after some usage but I haven’t personally experienced that yet.

No issues with battery life so far.

The Bad
The press has been hard on the new model for speed. I would agree that if you need heavy processing power this shouldn’t be your daily driver. Most of the apps that I use are browser based now-a-days and on the occasion that I need to edit a video really quickly the machine has handled itself fine. About a week in I installed the El Capitan beta OS. After doing that my initial response is that it has made things a bit snappier. Apps seem to open faster, Safari seems to have a bit of pep. It could be all in my head, but Apple is claiming performance enhancements in the new OS and I’m buying it so far.

The USB-C thing takes some getting used to. I needed to do a presentation last week and had to borrow a co-workers older MacBook Pro to use some ports to get an external display. I’m going to order the adapter this week. Problem solved.

The keyboard took some getting used to. It uses a new type of key and the press feels a bit different. Honestly, after a few days I stopped thinking about it.

I read a review that said this is the laptop for you if you’re looking for portability above all else. I’d agree with that conclusion. You’re certainly paying a premium if you’re looking at it purely from a spec standpoint. You could get a heavier machine with beefier specs today for less money. I think after having this as my primary laptop though it would be hard to go back to something even a little bit heavier. This is my new normal.