Attitudes: Reasons for Hope
While traveling from meeting to meeting at this year's CES, I was picked up in a cab driven by Ali Bandbaz, who claimed he was in the 2000 Guinness World Records for balancing his brother, Massoud, on two 14.5-inch daggers using his teeth (sure enough he's on page 49 of the Millennium Edition under "Greatest Weight Balanced on a Knife").
Last year, in an industry locked down by the fears and uncertainty of the recession, that may have been the most interesting and inspiring thing I came across. This year, that certainly wasn't the case.
First off, the mood among attendees was more upbeat than it has been for years. That was certainly fueled by a sense of relief that the worst of the recession is behind us. But it was also spurred by the excitement surrounding new product categories and technologies - mainly e-readers and 3D TV - that should lure consumers into retailers throughout this year. (Toshiba's CELL TV should be another game-changer, but that's for a different column.)