Monday, January 12, 2009

CES is Over -- Back to Business As Usual (Is there Such a Thing in This Economic Climate?)

The official annual "Happy New Year" rite of passage in the digital media/technology/consumer electronics world is now over -- CES 2009 is "in the books" as they say. Yesterday, I gave my impressions of this year's event. Today, the Los Angeles Times gave its take on CES and the overall state of the industry. Now, it's time to hunker down and drive successes amidst all the economic pain and sturm and drang.

From my perspective, some of the most rewarding aspects of CES are unscheduled and informal times and serrendipitous "bump intos" -- i.e., stumbling across an old friend or colleague and catching up. After attending so many of these shows, these serendipitous "bump intos" amongst the mass of attendees happen more and more -- they are almost like finding needles in a haystack of attendees.

This year, I caught up with old friend and colleague from Musicmatch Chris Allen who helped drive the sale of Napster to Best Buy earlier this year (and who continues on as a top exec at Napster). Other notable "bump intos" included Michael Robertson, CEO of Gizmo and MP3tunes.com; respected and influential video-conferencing expert and pundit Elliot Gold; Dmitry Shapiro, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of pioneering digital video site Veoh; Ken Hertz, super-agent and digital media aficionado Ken Hertz; and high school friend Jim Stetler, who has been running his own successful marketing and product marketing business -- JMC Marketing -- for 17 years. Of course, my time with my new colleagues at Logitech were also invaluable as we integrate SightSpeed into the company.

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