By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS — It all begins with an idea, and possibly just seeing what others don’t, which was the common theme of the Next Generation of Innovators keynote during 2013 International CES, here.
“Innovation is the hallmark of our industry,” said Michael Petricone, government affairs senior VP for the Consumer Electronics Association. “It defines everything we do.
“At CES we are at the absolute epicenter of innovation,” he added. “CES is a magnet for the best and the brightest.”
Four such innovators took stage in a panel keynote moderated by Jeff Jordan, partner with Andreessen Horwitz.
“It is just a privilege to work with entrepreneurs and innovators, who create new businesses out of nothing,” said Jordan. “It is a form of alchemy.”
The panel included four individuals who started with ideas and continue to build businesses from those ideas.
This included Will.i.am, founder and chairman of i.am. plus; Eric Vishria, co-founder of RockMelt; Cyrus Massourni, founder and CEO of ZocDoc; and David Lieb, CEO and co-founder of Bump Technologies.
All four panelists shared their stories of how technology has managed to fill a need, from Bump’s technology, which allows users to “bump” their phones together to share content, to ZocDoc’s ability to find a doctor and book an appointment online.
Sometimes it is the simple things that can be the most innovative. All also agreed that along the way mistakes were made, as were necessary “pivots” that changed the very business model of these start-ups.
“It is about getting the big things right,” said Vishria, “and not to worry about the little mistakes. The only thing you can expect is the unexpected.”
This innovation from the four panelists — as well as the other innovators and entrepreneurs who have descended on Las Vegas — will not only result in new products that attendees can hope to see on the show floor in the future, but it could also inspire other future innovators.
As a seven-time Grammy award winner known for his work with The Black Eyes Peas, Will.i.am said he was inspired to not only develop products to help to get the kids of today inspired about science and technology.
“The consumer electronic world has to make it just as sexy for a kid to be Kobe Bryant to want to be Bill Gates, to be Mark Zuckerberg, to be innovators,” said Will.i.am.
It was also agreed that this could be the best time to be an innovator.
“You have don’t have to have any experience, you can just go do something,” said Lieb. “You can just go do it, and I challenge anyone out there. If you have an idea that you are passionate about, go do it. The worst thing that will happen is that it will fail and you can go back to doing what you were doing. And then do it again.”
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.