PCWorld Business Center's "In Your Bag" series takes an intimate look at the essential tech gear that small-business leaders carry with them.
Noah Lehmann-Haupt founded Gotham Dream Cars in New York City, offering rentals of luxury cars to drivers with exotic tastes. His menu includes models from Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, Maserati, and Lamborghini. After the 2004 launch, Gotham expanded with a South Florida office. Now with a 10-person staff, it brings in some $3 million a year.
Gotham isn't the first startup Lehmann-Haupt has driven. As an MIT undergrad in management science, he held a series of internships at Wall Street banks, and launched software company TruExchange--selling that venture-backed brand three years later.
What’s the most important item in your bag?
Lehmann-Haupt: The MacBook Pro is my main machine and my whole life is on it. I carry a fairly boring Samsonite leather bag.
Which smartphones and tablets do you carry?
Lehmann-Haupt: I have an iPhone.
I was pleasantly surprised at how essential the iPad has become in my day-to-day life. I read on it, and carry a full library of books. I have an excellent RSS reader to follow all my favorite blogs, and I watch movies while on the elliptical machine. It's probably my favorite piece of tech right now.
I also don't use a case; I prefer the soft feel of the metal. I didn't upgrade to the iPad 2; I saw no need. I'll get a new one when Apple includes a full-sized retina display.
What's your preferred laptop?
Lehmann-Haupt: I have a 17-inch MacBook Pro, shown with its 85-Watt power adapter and Simpsons-inspired decal. I was a PC guy for many, many years and switched over to a Mac last year. No looking back--I'm die-hard now. My MacBook Pro has become my main and only machine now.
How about peripherals and accessories?
Lehmann-Haupt: I wanted a small, lightweight external drive that could fit a lot of data and had a fast interface. So, I got the Seagate GoFlex 1TB portable drive with Firewire 800. Standard USB is too slow. One of the great things about Macs is how zippy Firewire 800 is.
I also have both 8GB and 32GB Corsair XT flash drives--always handy and useful. USB flash drives are like the duct tape of the geek world; you never quite know when you'll need one, but you're always happy you have them when you do.
Here's an Apple Mini DisplayPort with a VGA adapter. Presentations on the go? No problem at all. I had a DVI adapter as well at some point, but I'm pretty sure that's vanished into the depths of my office somewhere.
How do you keep your gear powered up?
Lehmann-Haupt: I carry a USB auto power adapter for the iPhone. Having a car charger on hand has been a lifesaver more times than I can count.
Am iPhone solar charger and backup battery is a recent purchase. First off, it's got a 1500 mAh battery and can re-charge an iPhone to about 50 percent. But the cooler part is that it's got a solar panel on it--nice to have in an emergency.
What non-tech essentials travel with you?
Sanford Uniball Micro pens. They just work. The writing is super smooth, they're relatively cheap (I lose pens constantly), and they look and feel great.
I bring Ray-Ban RB 3379 polarized sunglasses everywhere.
Stack 'o business cards.
What comes in handy when you travel abroad?
Lehmann-Haupt: I imagine my mom would probably scold me for keeping my passport in my bag, but I've gone to the airport one too many times on an international trip with my passport sitting in my safe at home.
I have two sets of headphones for trips--Bose Quietcomfort QC 15s for flying and Shure SE530s--the best in-ear phones I've ever heard. But I also keep a spare set of standard Apple headphones.
What does the photo not show?
Lehmann-Haupt: The only things missing are my two sets of headphones. I'm pretty happy with my kit right now, but I'm sure I'll buy whatever the next big thing Apple releases, and it'll find a place in my bag.