Steven Sinofsky’s CES 2019 Show Report

Steven Sinofsky:

CES 2019 is a kind of year that sort of screams “we’re ready for the products that really work.” In that spirit, CES 2019 is a year where products are close, but seem a product manager iteration away from being a product that can reach a tipping point of customer satisfaction and utility. Products work in a “thread the needle” sort of way, but a lot of details and real life quickly cause things to become frustrating.

This feeling for me is part of the cycle of CES. I like to think of it as the universal remote problem — everything starts to work but to really work you long for that one simplified control point. The challenge is making that while all the other pieces are still moving. That’s the nature of Consumer Electronics (tech in general) which is that there are many parts moving at different velocities and in slightly different vectors — it means sometimes we go through phases where we seem really close.

I’ve still never attended CES, but if I ever do, my goal would be to do what Sinofksy does in these annual reports — to try to see the forest for the trees, to gauge the gestalt of the tech world at this moment. Figure out what is nonsense (e.g. 3D TV mania a few years ago) and what is a legit trend (voice driven interfaces today).

Sinofsky does this really, really well. It’s a long read but CES is a big show.

Thursday, 17 January 2019