The secret to avoiding CES cynicism is never really going

TechCrunch | 1/13/2018 | Devin Coldewey
aka1aka1 (Posted by) Level 4
Click For Photo: https://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/crowd-signage-two-lg.jpg

I’ve been going to CES for almost ten years now, and it amazes me that really, nothing has changed that whole time. The same people are saying the same things on the same stages, selling the same people the same junk with slightly higher price tags. But this year I had a great time and found some amazing companies — because I avoided at all costs actually stepping foot on the show floor.

The math is simple: when a company gets big enough to get itself a big booth showing off its products, it is almost always at that point that it ceases to be a source of real innovation — or at least the kind of innovation I think is worth tracking down and writing about at CES. They don’t do anything truly cool, nor anything truly dumb.

Success - Companies - Nothing - Booth - Dozens

And I’m not punishing them for their success. I’ve seen some of these companies grow up from nothing to a flashy booth staffed by dozens, and that’s great. But they exist on a different plane now: they seed their news with sites ahead of time, they have private press conferences, they’re working in suites to set up sweetheart manufacturing deals. They’re part of the machine now. Congratulations!

It’s for this reason that I spent my entire time at CES roaming the hot, shabby wilds that are “Eureka Park.”

Portion - Eureka - Park - Map

A small portion of the Eureka Park map.

Technically it is part of the show, but it’s also like ****. Hundreds of booths perhaps six feet wide and deep are crammed in, CEOs displaying their wares like butchers or street merchants. It’s hot and humid (even in the cold, usually dry Las Vegas January), there’s barely room to move along the inadequate aisles, and if anyone sees you’re media they make a sort of flying pitch at you...
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