The first big event of the new year is under way in Las Vegas.
It’s the annual CES which used to stand for Consumer Electronics Show but I’m told that since the show has gone way beyond consumer electronics it’s just CES. As the Wall Street Journal wrote the show
grew up around devices like television sets and stereos sold by distributors and retailers…but it has continually morphed to add new classes of products and companies that don’t fit the classic consumer-electronics description.
“Huge” doesn’t begin to describe it. 125,000 or more people attend and hour-long waits for cabs are common while reservations at most of the better Vegas restaurants are rare. After a few days, your feet hurt from walking the more than 1.92 million net square feet of exhibit space as does your head from the non-stop loud environment.
I used to love to go despite the drawbacks. It was at CES I saw my first e-reader and was shown the first “connected” TV in a hush-hush meeting with one of the TV manufacturers. While both those things are common now, they were brand spanking new business opportunities at the time and got us thinking about how we could grow our business, that of our partners, and enrich our mutual customers’ lives. The “next big things” this year are supposed to focus on wearable, drivable and mobile-controllable technologies. We’ll see how that all plays out.
You might be wondering why I raise this. After all, while you might have a passing interest in CES, for the most part you and your business might have nothing at all to do with curved TV screens or wired cars or toasters that can send you a text. Fair enough. CES was always a chance to think out of the box. What possibilities opened up based on what I was seeing at the show? My point is this: the start of the new year is a perfect time to take a step out of the routine and take a look around. Search out a show or a conference or a meeting of your industry that will let you see something new. Use what you see to think big thoughts. After all, much of what is at CES was someone’s pipe dream or maybe even “impossible” not very long ago.
Even though I’m not at the show this year, I’ll read the reports and maybe even watch some of the live streaming taking place. You can’t spell “success” without using “ces”. This inquiring mind wants to know more. Yours?