A group of about a dozen designers and engineers sat around the conference table and upon the table’s surface was a variety of different devices. Mrs. Maxxim stood nearby. After giving her daughter a hug, she waved for the designers to present their efforts. Astrid, her mother, and Mr. Brown were shown next year’s tablets, phones, notebook computers, and pocket computers. Finally a young woman with red hair and large glasses stood up holding a small object on a key chain.
“And this is our fob,” she said. “You can use it not only to unlock and remote start your Maxxim Motor Cars, but also to control its sound system, security alarm, and wifi base station.”
“Isn’t that redundant?” asked Astrid.
“What do you mean?” the woman wondered.
“We can do all that by putting an app on your Maxxim Phone or on your watch.”
“Maxxim Carpé,” added her mother, giving the official name of the company’s computer watch.
“But not everyone has a Maxxim Phone or a Maxxim Carpé,” said the designer.
“But we want them to,” said Astrid. “In fact, we should include a Maxxim Carpé with the purchase of one of our cars. Keep the fob simple, for people to use as a backup.”
The woman looked crestfallen, but nodded and sat back down.
“What’s this?” asked Astrid, picking up a device the size of a deck of cards. “A new portable data drive?”
“This is our latest solid state drive,” said another engineer, this one a tall blond man.
“What’s the capacity?” asked the girl inventor.
“Three terabytes,” answered a shorter, dark-skinned man.
“No, it connects by wifi,” the first engineer said, puffing himself up.
“It should be smaller, maybe half this size,” said Astrid, looking first at him and then at the other designer. “Make it smaller.”
“You don’t understand,” said the second engineer. “This is the culmination of a year’s work.”
“No,” said Astrid. “I understand perfectly. It’s you who apparently don’t understand.”
She walked across the room and tossed the device into the aquarium, eliciting gasps from the gathered engineers.
“See the bubbles?” said Astrid. “The bubbles mean there was air inside of that device—air means space. Make it smaller.”