Over the last few months I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Liz Strauss. If you’re in business to innovate and succeed and you don’t know who Liz Strauss is, here is a good place to learn. An easy answer is that she’s a business expert. A more inclusive answer, however, is that she has a deep understanding of how technology – specifically the Internet – and business complement one another. For her, that understanding has evolved into a brand of passion powerful enough to drive her blogging, her international speaking engagements and her work as a sought-after business consultant and strategist. In her spare time, she also launched SOBCon, and organization/event in which she continues to play a critical role. The SOBCon gatherings are described not just as a conference but as “a think tank of the social web.” The letters don’t stand for what you may initially think they do; they initially stood for Successful and Outstanding Bloggers. Today it’s Successful Online Businesses. (SOBCon Northwest takes place Sept. 28 – 30 in Portland, Ore.)
It’s technology that’s given me the opportunity to get to know Liz. For the past several months she’s been using HP’s Folio 13 Ultrabook. She may be a business and technology superstar, but when it comes to computing, she’s pretty much like the rest of us.
“I take my computer for granted,” she tells me from her home base in Chicago. “My favorite aspects of this computer are that it’s ultra portable, it starts up quickly and it fits in my purse.” And because it’s in the purse, she says that most people aren’t even aware that she’s carrying a computer. Her purse, by the way, is a red, yellow and green Talie with two straps that make it possible to wear it as a backpack. The dimensions: 8 ½ inches tall, 11 inches long and 3 inches deep.
Another aspect she’s been very pleased with is the battery. “A lot of times I don’t even turn it off so I don’t know exactly how long it lasts,” she says. “I can wi-fi all the way to California and not worry about it.” While in the air, Liz doesn’t write because she says her attention span shrinks when she’s airborne, but she does tweet from her seat, answers e-mail and comments on her blog, does things on Google Plus and plays Empire Avenue. As a frequent flyer, she appreciates the longevity of her Ultrabook. “Chicago to L.A. is longer than most computer batteries last,” she says.
Liz says the Ultrabook is as handy at home as it is on the road, or in the sky. “I sit on the couch and work on the laptop anytime I need to get away from the desktop, which is often,” she says. Often time she moves from the desk to the couch simply for a change of scenery, but on one occasion her move was a bit more urgent. “I was Skyping with a fairly high-profile celebrity about a nonprofit he’s running,” she says, and then declines to name names, leaving me guessing. “He almost never gives out his Skype name to anyone, so I’d finally gotten it from him, and we’re on Skype together and my desktop computer started making a noise that’s interfering with our conversation. Normally going to another computer would have required 10 to 15 minutes to get up and running, but with my laptop there’s a fast start so we were able to continue discussing how he could grow his online presence without much of an interruption.”