As we begin a long, hot summer, a few things happening in our industry and technology in general strike me as worthy of comment. In each case there is a void to be filled, and the sooner, the better.
I am struck by a digital signage industry that appears to be so ready for dramatic breakout (yes, even in this economy), but which still struggles to define itself, its business models, its semantics and even its leadership. The void in market and industry leadership leads to a bit of Wild West mentality. People seem to passively accept the practice of some companies routinely issuing breathless, yet newsless press releases and disseminating blatantly misleading data on their own customer base. It is almost as if those companies think they won’t be challenged or get caught. Well, integrity is one of those things that comes out in the wash, folks. The combination of a down economy and increased competition makes it a market where buyers will be more selective, and more willing to dig deeper on any claim. So if you want to stretch the truth, engage in hyperbole or otherwise gild the lily, prepare yourself to be called out.
I am struck by the buzz surrounding the InfoComm show next week. It is a show known largely as an AV reseller show in June, in Orlando, yet it seems that it has an unusually high amount of interest this year. We don’t have our own booth at the show, although we will have some presence. It seems to me that either the timing is somehow right or that the show promoters have done a great job. In any event, it just feels like it will have more buzz than usual. I would take that as a good sign for everyone, but even a strong InfoComm won’t make Exponation’s decision to cancel DSE East a bad idea. In fact, it would only underscore the need to fill the void in the Fall with show drastically different than their big show in February.
I am struck by the fan base of Apple and how people multi-tasked as Apple presented its new products today at WWDC. The bizarre strategy of non-removable batteries on the Macbook, MMS with no network support from AT&T and nothing really NEW starts to sound a lot like the guy on the left side of heir terrific commercials. Seriously, Steve, do you think I am throwing down for a new iPhone when you haven’t made the case for spending that kind of money? Love all the Macbook features, but I am troubled by the battery deal. Maybe they are waiting for the economy to recover before introducing a really new iPhone, or a netbook computer. The old Apple would be more aggressive, but in a certain way, they suffer from a void of leadership as well, with Steve Jobs obviously ailing. I hope he recovers soon, and pushes the envelope once again.
There is more to talk about, but as a baseball fan I have to respect the concept of three strikes and you’re out. It will have to wait until next inning.