I’m at CES this week and this is a demo show. The best events are those where the technology, not the executives, take center stage and the audience is in awe of what they are seeing.
One of the best at this year’s CES was Mooly Eden’s Sandy Bridge presentation. Solid on demos and with one big surprise it was clearly one of the big highlights of the show.
Let’s look at some of the more memorable moments.
What CES Should Be
CES stands Consumer Electronics Show, which should make it clear to everyone that it isn’t supposed to be a showcase of CEO speaking skills.
However, it often seems that the majority of presentations are long on executive face time and short on product benefits.
And, let’s be clear, most CEOs clearly weren’t hired for their speaking skills. The end result is that by the time the executives on stage get around to talking about products, most of us are either asleep or catching up with our email and wishing we were almost anywhere else.
I don’t understand this approach because the show is supposed to be about building up demand for products and yet, Steve Jobs who doesn’t even bother to go, is the biggest example that isn’t followed.
Indeed, at Apple events Steve may be the celebrity - but he still makes the products that he is presenting the star. And that’s (partially) why he gets more lines around the block than anyone else.
There is even a book titled "Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs" that teaches execs how to do just that, but strangely enough, most executives seem to avoid it like the plague.
Mooly’s Great Example
However, Intel’s Mooly Eden is one of the few folks that comes into his presentations with a clear passion and focuses on making the product the star.
This isn’t easy for him because he isn’t pitching iPhones, iPods, iPads or any other gadget most of us would want to buy. Rather, he’s pitching processors and his latest is Intel’s best: Sandy Bridge.
The key benefit Mooly emphasized was video performance, as he highlighted several advantages over older or competitive technologies.
One of the most impressive was video transcoding, something many of us are learning to do to get our videos from our archives onto shiny new smartphones.
He also showcased the ability to process multiple video streams in high-def, along with showcasing the graphics in Portal 2 from Valve.
Nevertheless, the biggest surprise was an agreement from a number of content owners - including Warner Brothers and Fox - to stream movies to PCs at the same time they are first made available in theaters. This is actually pretty big and I’m not aware of any other platform we can (currently) do this with.
But the big point is, he actually showcased this new processor in a way that made people want to buy it and that is the goal of the show.
We often spend our time focused on executives behaving badly; I think it is just as important to focus sometimes on those that do a great job. Mooly Eden did a great job at CES; he did his company proud, and showcased Intel’s new technology in the best possible light.
In a world where we seem to be up to our armpits in executives behaving badly, it is nice to have a few that behave very well.