Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
I love going to CES every January. I go to Las Vegas the day before the show starts so I can be in the exhibit hall early the next morning.
I also like to arrive the morning of the day before the show to avoid the long taxi lines at the airport. The Las Vegas airport taxi line is the worst.
I check into the hotel and leave my bags. I enjoy walking the Strip. I wander into the casinos. I study the players at the slot machines, the blackjack tables, the roulette wheels, and the craps tables. I watch the people play and study their reactions.
During my walk on the strip and in the hotel shopping malls I am always looking for a new deli to test their hot pastrami sandwiches.
This year I ate at the Carnegie Deli in the Mirage. The Carnegie Deli has lost its tall. Cindy’s Deli in Dallas, owned and run by Koreans, make a better hot pastrami sandwich.
After five miles of walking around I was tired. When I got to my room at 4 pm, I put my head on the pillow and was immediately asleep. Next thing I knew it was 5.45 pm.
Brad told me he would be working on his next book with his partner Jason Mendelson after 2 pm. He invited me to hang out in his room while they worked. Dinner was at 7 pm. I got to his room at 6.15 pm. We hung out and talked until dinner.
The incredible thing about my relationship with Brad Feld is that he always teaches me something. His perceptions are keen. He has the ability to evaluate issues he is interested in holistically.
The Foundry Group invites colleagues to dinner during the two nights they are at CES. They invite principles in companies they have invested in, VCs they have invested with, angel investor they know and some journalists they know.
I was the oldest person at the dinners. Everyone was under 50. Many are under 40. Most everyone knows of me through Brad’s references to my blog in Feld Thoughts. One person even said I was an icon and a legend.
How can you beat that?
The dinner at Bouchon was wonderful. The guests were great.
Brad went out of his way to introduce me to people I did not know. All the conversations I had were intellectually stimulating. All of them fascinated me. They were all focused on their work. They all had a very optimistic view of the future. I believe they all understand they represent America’s future.
On Thursday, I got to the convention center early. Brad was on a panel at 10.30 am. The topic was “Government policy and technology.” I wanted to see the CES best picks and scope out the exhibit halls.
The first booth I hit was the WIRED Magazine booth cosponsored by AMD. They were having a contest for who could construct the best WIRED magazine cover page. Below is the cover I made.
Brad’s panel consisted of four bureaucrats and him. Brad was the only one that got it. I was not the only one in the audience who came to that conclusion. During a convoluted debate about software patents Brad received an ovation from the audience when he declared that software patents should be eliminated.
Brad and I walk the floor of all three exhibit halls for the next five hours. Each exhibit hall was at least the size of 2 football fields. Each exhibit hall was covered wall to wall with exhibits. I love going around with Brad because he is a “speed looker.” I usually touch every stone. I have concluded that “speed lookers’ ” comprehension is better that slow lookers.
My conclusions from CES:
1. It looks like all 80 of the tablets exhibited are me too’s.
2. LED TV’s are getting bigger and bigger and thinner and thinner.
3. 3D TV is going to continue to have problems.
4. Internet video streaming of TV shows and movies is going to take over.
5. I wish I had invested in Netflix.
6. Cable companies must start to reinventing themselves.
7. Google is going to take over the world.
8. Microsoft will have to figure out a different business plan.
Dinner was at Nobu. I am not a big sushi fan. I am afraid of raw fish. However, this was a sushi orgy. I was sitting next to Brad. He taught me how to enjoy sushi. Actually, the sushi was great. As an additional benefit, I have not yet developed liver fluke.
My trip to Las Vegas proved to be a great learning experience. Brad, thank you for hanging out with me. Thank you for providing the opportunity for me to meet some very exciting people.
I love you.