One pound weights

In terms of the challenges we were meeting for the physical design [of the original laptop], they were small things if you look at them as individual items. For example, we wanted to know what the right weight would be as a maximum for the specification. So I made everyone in the company—there were only seven people in the company—walk around with their briefcases containing what they normally had anyway, and I gave them one pound weights. And I said, “Carry as many of these one pound weights as you can, as well as your normal stuff. And then tell me when it gets unbearable.” We came out with what I thought was a pretty good number, which was eight pounds. So then we tried to design the thing to weigh eight pounds.

Bill Moggridge discussing the challenges he faced when designing the Grid Compass, arguably the first laptop. I love two things about this. The first is his description of each of the challenges as “small things.” The second is the simplicity with which he answered the weight question.

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