ThinkPad 20th Anniversary Edition?

I recently blogged about celebrating the 19th anniversary of ThinkPad. Every time we pass one of these milestones it makes me realize just how much black paint I have beneath my fingernails, and how significant ThinkPad has become. This week I started thinking about the forthcoming 20th anniversary, October 5th isn’t so far away. How could we celebrate the 20th anniversary in a dramatic and appropriate way.

If you research wedding anniversary milestones you will find many fascinating traditional suggestions for ways to honor the event with gifts. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia on this topic:

The names of some anniversaries provide guidance for appropriate or traditional gifts for the spouses to give each other; if there is a party these can be brought by the guests or influence the theme or decoration. These gifts vary in different countries, but some years have well-established connections now common to most nations: 5th Wooden, 10th Tin, 15th Crystal, 20th China, 25th Silver, 30th Pearl, 40th Ruby, 50th Golden, 60th Diamond. The tradition may have originated in medieval Germany where, if a married couple lived to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their wedding, the wife was presented by her friends and neighbors with a silver wreath to congratulate them for the good fortune that had prolonged the lives of the couple for so many years. On celebration of the 50th, the wife received a wreath of gold. Over time the number of symbols expanded and the German tradition came to assign gifts that had direct connections with each stage of married life.

What would a ThinkPad figurine look like?

It’s interesting that the suggested 20th anniversary gift is China. I’m talking about the material, not the country. I can’t imagine offering a limited edition ThinkPad figurine to commemorate the occasion. Even more ridiculous would be a ThinkPad made from Bone China. Although beautiful and delicate, It would never pass the battery of ThinkPad torture tests.

Over the years we have introduced several special editions to celebrate various milestones. We’ve made shiny black versions, numbered versions, and even a leather version. There’s still a faint lingering aroma of leather in my office from the Reserve Edition. I think it’s time to start thinking about the 20th anniversary edition. Lenovo isn’t the first company to face this dilemma, there are plenty of anniversary editions out there for just about everything imaginable. Pen, motorcycles, and of course car manufacturers, have all done this.

100th anniversary Harley XL1200 Custom celebrated it’s heritage with an even more retro design

Brand new again to celebrate the 25th anniversary

One of the most creative limited editions ever was how Nissan celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 240Z. They chose to offer for sale a handful of the originals fully restored by the factory. What an undertaking! They looked perfect in every detail, right down to a reproduction of the original factory window sticker.The cars were priced at more than $20,000, up from the original price of $3,526  that a 1970 240Z  fetched. Should we gather up vintage ThinkPad 700c’s and refurbish them to their former glory? Not sure I want to go that far back in time, or that anyone would pay a premium for such an offering.

What should we do? I hate to let this one go by without doing something significant. I’d love to get your feedback and get the ThinkPad design creative juices flowing. October of 2012 is not that far away.