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Busy Week in Vegas

by Team Sony 10/25/2008

I spent three days in Las Vegas this week and didn’t even have a chance to gamble.
 
Most of the time was spent in various meetings that were part of the
Consumer Electronics Association’s annual fall industry forum, including a Communications Committee meeting and numerous breakout sessions on topics ranging from the "greening" of consumer electronics to engaging with our customers in the world of Web 2.0.  (You can bet I had a lot to say in all of these sessions.)
 
I was also on hand for the various CEA announcements that took place during the week.  The one that made the biggest news was the association’s forecast for 3.5 percent industry growth for the fourth quarter versus the prior year despite the current economic news and volatile stock market ups and downs.  Although this represents a lower growth prediction than what the industry has experienced in recent years, it confirms my confidence that American consumers are poised to surprise many of the pundits with their strong interest in consumer electronics even during difficult times.  Now, if we could just get our retailers to be a bit more bold!

A big event during the conference that I was very proud to be a part of since I was one of this year’s judges was the annual CE Hall of Fame Dinner to honor the latest class of winners. Of course, being a Sony guy, I was fortunate to sit at the table with inductee Ken Kutaragi, also known as "The Father of the Playstation."  And, boy, was he thrilled and honored to receive the award.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile as much as I did that night.
 
But the stars that night didn’t stop with Ken.  Another high-profile inductee included Warren Lieberfarb, formerly of Warner Home Video and another "Father" — this one noted for bringing consensus (including Sony a bit grudgingly at the time) around the DVD format. Then posthumously there was Dean Dunlavey (represented by his son Dean Jr.), who successfully argued the "Betamax Case" before the U.S. Supreme Court, granting consumers the right to record and "time-shift" television broadcasts for their personal use. 
 
Other stars of the night included: Joe Clayton, longtime head of RCA and Sirius Satellite Radio; Eddy Hartenstein, who started the DIRECTV satellite service; Richard Sharp, who led the massive growth of Circuit City during his years at the helm; posthumously Jewel (the first female inductee) and David Abt, who founded the truly one-of-a-kind
Abt Electronics store that is bigger and more unique than ever today in the Chicago area; Fritz Sennheiser of audio high-fidelity and headphone fame; the deceased Hans Fantel, who was perhaps the first consumer electronics columnist to write specifically for consumers in his popular New York Times column; and, finally, the team of Martin Cooper and Donald Linder, two more "Fathers," who while at Motorola developed the cellular phone.
 
Now that’s some Hall of Fame class!
 
Then it was back to the grindstone for a morning meeting with Sony colleagues and CEA staff at the Venetian Hotel in preparation for the keynote presentation that will take place in a huge ballroom there by Sony’s Chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer on opening day the Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 8, 2009.  The one thing I can tell you about it now is that it will be a "really big show," which I’ll be sure to report on here on the blog.

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  1. guest_user wrote: October 27, 2008 10:46pm

    Ken Kutaragi deserves it. Too bad he retired because he actually knew what
    he was doing and went ahead with what he wanted to do.
    Congratulations to Ken Kutaragi!

    Reply
  2. guest_user wrote: October 28, 2008 1:01am

    Sounds like a great trip Mr Clancy! I love the fact that Sony had honorees and
    inductees that night! It is great to see that the long history of greatness is still
    continued today! Hopefully you were able to speak to Mr. Hartenstein about a
    Sony/DIRECTV partnership!! That would be fun! Thank you for all the work and
    travel that you do for Sony! I know that it may get tiring traveling but it certainly
    is for a great and just purpose!!

    My idea for this post is to have th Sony battery brands distributed through
    wider channels. I think it work nicely to make sure they are in the Walgreens,
    Targets, Discount Drugmarts, Wal-Marts and other locations where it can
    succeed well. I truly feel that it is much better than the top brands like Duracell
    and Energizer…The Honest Truth! I have used for my Bishop’s microphone,
    MP3 player and CD player the performance is great and has such durability!

    Also, my Sony Dream Machin named E-larm working great! The buzzer option
    is great as well as the Preset time, CD player and so much more! Thanks again
    Sony!

    Reply
  3. guest_user wrote: October 28, 2008 11:23pm

    Did you discuss Sony Insider when the Web 2.0 bit came up?

    Reply
  4. guest_user wrote: October 30, 2008 2:23pm

    Hi Chris,

    Not this time, although I should have taken the opportunity.

    You have a cool site. In fact, I was recently talking with my blog moderator
    Jen Peterson about possibly doing a podcast with you about it.

    You game?

    Thanks.

    Rick

    Reply

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