Congratulations for getting your startup off the ground. You’ve got a solid foundation, money in the bank, taxes all sorted out, and a sensible marketing plan. You even bought a shiny, new Macbook Pro with Retina Display as that is all the rage. These days, it seems clients will not take you seriously without one. A $200 HP inspires confidence in exactly nobody.
But it is not enough to merely have a laptop powerful enough to help you take over the world. You also need the right software to make those questionable ambitions a reality. Whether you want to run a small country or a small business, these are three of the first applications you will want to install:
For the first many years of personal computing, the thing we all had to worry about was getting a computer virus. To combat the problem, companies sold us antivirus software. Today, we still use the language of virus and antivirus even though the threats are considerably more sophisticated, and have little to do with computer viruses.
We have malware, adware, and root kits to deal with. From cheap, Asian OEMs you can pick up a brand new computer with software preinstalled that will automatically turn your machine into a zombie bot fully capable of going online and steeling personal information without you ever being the wiser.
While Macs are mostly immune from traditional virus and malware attacks, a not-so-careful user can still fall victim to phishing attacks, email scams, and privacy threats on popular social networks. Antivirus for Mac security packages that can help protect against these threats are available if you know where to look. Trend Micro is one of the few that has security packages for all major platforms, including mobile. That can be very convenient if you use multiple devices for your business.
Security is arguably the most important aspect of your new business. While your customers will appreciate your convenience, responsiveness, and ease of use, in this world where hacking big business is common, what they really need is to know that the information they share with you is safe and secure.
A Second Display
Since the original iPad, people have been trying to come up with ways to use it as a portable, second display. It is just the right size to act as a secondary display for a laptop. Nothing says “power user” like two screens of information in front of you. Also, it is just plain cool.
There are two types of solutions out there. All of the options, save one, are wireless solutions that rely on wifi. I am recommending the one, wired solution called Duet Display. You download a free applet on your Mac, and purchase the iOS app from the App Store for your iPad. It even works with iPhones and iPad minis.
There is no configuration. That is the beauty of using the USB cable that connects your iDevice to your computer. When plugged in with the app open, your iPad automatically becomes a highly functional, secondary display for your notebook. With this powerful combination, productivity has met its match.
The thing about a startup is that the starter has to be in multiple places all at once, all the time. That, of course, is impossible. But it can be somewhat approximated with the right software solution. The time you really need a file from your office computer is when you are away from it. What you need is software running on your mobile that will allow you to access that office computer as if you were right in front of it.
Right now, two of the more popular packages are GoToMyPC and Screens for Mac or iOS. They use slightly different methods and different pay schemes. But they both get the job done just fine. You can’t afford to tell prospective clients that you will have to wait till you get back to the office to check that. You need to be able to get back to your office computer from wherever you happen to be, whenever you happen to need it.
When you get that new computer, remember that it is not ready for business until it is secure, productive, and accessible from anywhere.