The Most mini Day of My Life
Do you remember that fantastic TV show called 24? The plot of the show was to follow Jack Bauer, a counter-terrorist agent, over a real-time 24-hour period. It was intense and exciting and unbelievable. The plot line would be so enthralling that it surely lived up to the “fiction” genre. The show started with "I'm federal agent Jack Bauer, and today is the longest day of my life."
Well, I won’t be quite that dramatic, but "I'm Mac mini aficionado and MacStadium VP Brian Stucki, and today is the most mini day of my life."
Let me share with you about the 24 hours in Brooklyn and some of the things that led up to that day. I also have some thoughts on the new Mac mini. (Much, much more coming on that as our large order gets delivered. Be sure to follow us at @MacStadium and me at @brianstucki.)
Greg (MacStadium CEO) and I sat for an Italian dinner at Cecconi’s Dumbo. The dinner and dessert were very good but most impressive was the view. I snapped this photo (#shotoniPhoneXS) through the window and it looks like a classic New York painting.
As we walked out of dinner, I heard a familiar voice. Eddy Cue and a number of other Apple executives were in the lobby. Tim Cook was just arriving as well. It was interesting to observe their general excitement to be in Brooklyn and it certainly felt like they were eager about all the things that they were going to introduce. I saw a number of people on Twitter mention the same thing as the event happened: Tim Cook had some genuine excitement about these products that may have been lacking in some recent keynotes.
I took the ferry back to the Lower East Side. Just like any West coaster, I did not even think to bring a jacket. Newsflash: the views from the water are great but it’s cold. Also, shoutout to Apple Maps which suggested that route as the public transit option. It was much faster than getting to the subway.
Apple asks that everyone check in and receive their badges about an hour before the show was to start. It was good to see so many friends there and say hello. They brought us into the hall and everyone settled in. The Apple logo animations on screen were fun to watch.
My Twitter was already quite active as the Mac mini was being introduced. I’m pretty sure no one has watched that mini as closely as I have over the last 14 years and many people were checking in to be sure I was doing alright. But it was about to get better.
Here is the moment where I didn’t have to keep secrets anymore. After a couple weeks of back and forth with a number of Apple teams, Tom Boger (my new favorite friend at Apple) highlighted MacStadium as part of the introduction of the new Mac mini.
I’ll be brief as to not be the one that pulls back the curtain on Apple keynotes, but I’ll say one thing:
The Apple team works like a well-maintained locomotive. For a couple weeks I was working with the PR department, a photography team, a newsroom writer, the Mac marketing team and the keynote production crew. All the teams were obviously very skilled in their roles and they were putting the puzzle pieces together. I could not have been more impressed and I learned a ton.
I really had no idea what was talked about in the last hour of the keynote. I had so many people reaching out and so many questions from customers and friends. Worth it. We also had our MacStadium site updated and ready to start taking reservations for the new Mac mini.
My pals at MacRumors tweeted an image that made me smile.
They were not far off in that assessment, though I let them know we needed about 1,495 more of the machines to get going. A few minutes later, I also snapped a photo with my new little friends.
It was neat to be in the hands-on area and meet some really talented people. Apple really knows how to put the right people on that floor to make connections and answer questions. In a short time, I had so many names of people at Apple that would like to hear what we’re doing at MacStadium and also had a lot of nice things to say about us. Even Phil Schiller was walking among the crowd and had very nice things to say about the way we’re putting Macs to work.
I was on a plane headed back to Las Vegas. After a whirlwind morning, I finally had a chance to think. (THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO JACK BAUER) Airplane wifi is so slow and unreliable that I was able to disconnect and think about the actual Mac mini and the way that Apple is presenting it.
It’s clear that the Mac mini continues to be a perfect machine for creative use. All Macs are good for creative use, but the Mac mini allows for creativity using it and with the machine hardware itself. On stage, Tom talked about using it in many places. In the Apple Newsroom interview story with me, Apple referred to it as “The secret world of Mac mini.” I’m so happy this continues to be the marketing approach.
In my many years of preaching Mac mini I’ve had so many people reach out to me declaring the ways they use the machine. It powers monitors at beauty shops across the country, it lives in each bank of slot machines you see while walking across the casino floors, and of course it’s in data centers and build closets all over the world.
It feels like Apple really responded to these uses and said, “Here it is just the way you like it and with all the things you’ve asked for over the last few years. More ports, more cores, more RAM, more storage, desktop parts, and a sassy space grey shell.” I’m so happy that they fought the urge to go smaller and instead packed the machine with all the modern power.
Computerworld wrote an article about the event. They mentioned MacStadium directly and then Apple’s intended message (my comments in parenthesis):
“The company couldn’t have made it any clearer that it’s possible to use its secure platforms as servers, and there is a potential industry in providing Mac-based server services. (Not potential, actual. Hi.) This also means those enterprises that want to deploy their own servers can look to these Macs. (Yes, and we can do it for you quickly and securely.)"
On the Apple website, they tend to use white backgrounds for their consumer Mac products and black backgrounds for their professional Mac products. When the airplane wifi finally gave me enough bandwidth to load the Mac mini page, I was so happy to see it dark. This, to me, really shows where Apple intends this Mac mini to live.
I finally make it back to Las Vegas. It’s good to be home, though I wish I would have returned with a review unit of the new Mac mini. The good news is that we’ve already ordered a number of them in different variations and we’ll be sure to to post all about what we find. (And more specifically, how we’re going to put the machines to work for all our customers.)
If you’d like to talk more about MacStadium or schedule an interview about how we use the Mac mini, we’d love to talk to you.