After a whirlwind three days at CES, Paul Jacobs is ready to return to snowy Detroit - but not before he offers up some final thoughts about this convention. Follow his adventures through airport security on Twitter @pauljacobsmedia.
Unfortunately, I have to leave this weather to head back to the Midwest later today. When is Groundhog Day?
A few observations from this convention:
Talk about THINKING BIG. If you don't have 3-4 days, you can't take anything in. The convention floors (there are at least 5 of them at the convention center and more at the Venetian) are gargantuan. Samsung's display has got to be 25,000 square feet, and they're one of several companies with similarly sized space.
More, more, more. There are at least 5 versions of everything. Do you think the only reader out there is the Kindle? There is an entire section dedicated to mobile readers that contains at least ten other manufacturers. Sure, Kindle is the big dog - they were first and have the etail platform established. But there are many others nipping at their heels. An investment analyst I ran into in that section said that he's decided that he's pulling back on his tech investments in certain categories because it's just too cutthroat.
@Home and in car. Both have a huge presence here. There are displays from Ford, Chevrolet, Kia, and others displaying mobile electronics. As I wrote in the Steve Ballmer post, the @Home space is getting ready to explode. You'll never have to leave your barcolounger again. And of course, all of this has implications for radio and our battle to hold onto our "location."
What's (not) new? There is a decided lack of big product introductions here, which surprised me. Of course, the "800 pound gorilla" - Apple - isn't here because they march to their own drummer and have generated buzz and attention for their new tablet announcement (allegedly). Google introduced the Nexus before the show. 3-D TV is buzzing, but it's not a game-changer (although it's awesome). It seems that either a) there's nothing big going on, or b) companies want to control their own buzz on their own terms. I interviewed an executive from BlackBerry who told me they hype products when they're good and ready, and don't view the CES as the only way to intro new gadgets and technologies.
For us consultant types, the new BlackBerry projector is really cool. Gone are the days of lugging around a 10-pound laptop projector. You can watch a brief video demonstration below.
Who scheduled a porn convention concurrent with the CES? It's quite a mashup - engineering types strolling down the same hallways as porn stars. If you've never been to CES, you absolutely need to figure out a way to get here. Even if you aren't into tech, the energy, flash, and optimism that is everywhere makes it worth the trip. The emphasis on what's next rather than on what's been is refreshing.
Finally, Alan Mulally's quote about "moving at Silicon Valley speed" has stuck with me. And it's on display everywhere you look at CES. Product rollouts are fast and furious. There's a gold rush mentality in the air, and companies are motivated and energized to keep moving at a very caffeinated pace.
I'd like to bottle some of it up and bring it to our Summit.