Attending CES for ten years means traveling a total of 50,000 miles (from New York), navigating about 20 million square feet of exhibit space, mingling with some subset of more than 1.5 million attendees, and creating at least 1,000 slides for recap decks. I also know that one’s status as a rookie or veteran is determined by others; my familiarity with the Consumer Electronics Show is dwarfed by those who have been attending for decades.
But, 10 CES’s is something, and attending my tenth one in 2016 has made me nostalgic for the early days, back when I wrote more blog posts than columns and presentations, and back when the snacks a tech company served mattered as much to me as the impact of that tech on my clients’ businesses.
As I prepared for CES 2016, I looked back through all my files – blog posts (this blog was a treasure trove for reliving my earlier CES trips), Flickr photos, recap decks, columns – and gathered highlights from what I’ve shared publicly (as opposed to anything presented solely to clients). I was repeatedly surprised by early mentions of topics such as drones, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. And yet, I had to wade through countless images of 3D TVs (which I sensed were a flop from the start) and 3D printers (which I was way too bullish on in terms of applications for mass market usage in the home).
I noted rather loftily in Advertising Age in 2015, “CES, at its core, isn't a show about electronics. It's a show about time.” What you’ll find here takes a broader view of time than what we’re normally afforded in a typical column or deck or tweet. It offers the perspective that a single year’s analysis can’t provide. If it interests or moves or inspires you in any way, please let me know.
Thanks for your time.