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Should your company buy you an iPad?

Apple Store Austin Texas

At SXSW, I ran into an art director who works for the ZAAZ agency. He was showing off the iPad he got when he joined the firm. That’s how ZAAZ distributes its employee handbook to new hires—on iPads. We probably all wish our companies did this. Can we make a serious argument for free iPads to employees, or is it just a gimmick?

I think it’s a wise move. If you run a company that provides creative services, especially digital work, buying iPads for your entire staff makes sense. Having employees who use iPads and understand their capabilities—not tomorrow but today, as touch tablets are about to explode in popularity—is so valuable that it offsets the cost. It’s not just a toy, it’s a tool.

Suppose your firm is comparable in size to ZAAZ, which, according to its LinkedIn page, has around 180 employees. You could equip the entire team with iPads for $90,000. That sounds like a lot, but is a small slice of a company’s technology budget.

Meanwhile, you solve several problems. You create an instant army of people fluent in iOS. You introduce the iPad as a business tool, one that makes it easier and more enjoyable to stay tethered to the office. And you equip employees to evangelize on behalf of your brand—they’ll lug those damn iPads everywhere showing them off, singing the praises of the place where they work.

Smart move. Apple is selling tens of millions of iPads a year. I’d love to know how many of them are bulk corporate purchases—I bet it’s a surprisingly high number.

Pictured above: The temporary Apple pop-up store at South By Southwest, Austin. Below: The line outside the store at 10:30 this morning.

Line for the Apple Store, Austin

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Uncategorized


  1. Billy Huys says:

    Hello. Great story. I happen to be an Art Director at ZAAZ. And I was at SXSW this year. Oh, and it was nice to meet you Daryl! (that’s what we call full disclosure)

    Seriously, I appreciate the blog and just want to add that ZAAZ uses the iPad for more than just an employee handbook. Our team has created an iPad app with our entire intranet on it. An entire database of our people, ideas, case studies, publications, videos and more—constantly improved and updated. Weaving it into our routine and daily interactions.

    In the short two weeks that I have been at ZAAZ—I’ve come to understand more about the iPad then in the whole time that they have been out. And it wasn’t that the other digital agencies I previously worked didn’t have iPads available—but only one or two for everyone. And the beauty of it’s experience doesn’t really happen unless you load it with the apps and info that make it yours—filling it with things that make your digital world easier and more enjoyable.

    From my very biased opinion—this puts an agency like ZAAZ way ahead of the game in mobile development. We have an army of iPad users and test cases—literally at our finger tips!

    keep up with me at @brandedbyhuys

  2. Daryl Lang says:

    Hi Billy! Thanks for the insights, and for unwillingly becoming the subject of a post on my blog! It was nice meeting you too, and good luck at ZAAZ. Sounds like a great agency — I’m jealous!

  3. ZAAZ says:

    Daryl, we loved this post!

    The ZAAZ iPad app (and buying iPads for our employees!) is definitely the most important thing we’ve done for ourselves this year. It’s great to read an outside account from other people who see the value.

    Thanks for the commentary, and if you’re ever Seattle – stop by. We’ll buy you a beer.


  4. Melissa says:

    Let’s hope this goes viral!

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