Author Archive

  • I spent part of the weekend with some friends who are in the early stages of a new startup. While we don’t always talk shop, it’s inevitable that someone will open up about their latest challenges. The conversation we had ended up being interesting enough that I wanted to cover the topic with my readers. The discussion started with a simple statement from a founder and chief marketing officer who is looking to disrupt the healthcare payment space. She made the statement “our approach to product is 100% data-driven”. She’s a fantastic marketer ...Read More »

  • No industry is immune to change, and this is even more true for technology-based economies whose life cycles can be measured in time spans as short as three months. If you’ve worked in the audio-visual (AV) industry in the past decade, you’ve witnessed a hardware-centric community transform itself into one driven by software and innovation.  I’m a computer scientist that’s found my way into the AV community almost by accident.  I’m glad it happened because it’s given me the opportunity to witness the revolution of a $12B stable hardware industry into an innovative ...Read More »

  • Information is (accessible) everywhere. It’s changed the way we think, problem solve, and interact. In an age where developers can cut/paste code into demo products, marketers can re-purpose infographics into rapid-fire click-bait, and anyone with 10 minutes on the right Wikipedia page can sound like an expert – it’s worth asking: what skills can we foster that remain valued? There are plenty of these skills – deep cognition for example, or the ability to see connections no one else sees, create new generalizations, and make an inference to collect more information. I’d ...Read More »

  • I recently came across a marketing brochure from a competitor that outlines 'facts' about their offering and our own. The 'facts' turned out to be nothing more than marketing fantasy. Perhaps it’s my academic background, but unsubstantiated facts almost make me break out in a rash. Later in this article, I’ll outline the tests I ran to show their claims are wrong.  But I asked myself, why don’t we do something similar? It also made me ask, what role should marketing play at our company? I would argue that a successful marketing team ...Read More »

  • Collaboration is so far past being a buzzword that it’s almost become kitschy.  Nearly every booth at the upcoming 45,000+ attendee ‘InfoComm’ conference will figure out a way to entwine the word collaboration in their messaging somewhere.   But collaboration is truly important.  It’s at the core of how the workplace is changing to accommodate modern workstyles.  Collaboration can leverage everyone’s expertise in open forums, transforms serialized presentation meetings (i.e. PowerPoint) into parallelized problem-solving sessions, and encourages employee engagement.  Selfishly, embracing collaboration can invigorate your own career: by being aware of its personal ...Read More »

  • I recently attended the AV Users Group meeting in New York.  The group is a fantastic set of people who are responsible for the audio-visual infrastructure at some of the world’s most successful companies.  It was a great set of discussions but the biggest takeaway for me was this: in light of the ever-increasing appetite for technology to support the workplace, the pace of adoption has outrun our ability to understand its impact.  An afternoon panel at the event spent quite a bit of time trying to tackle the issues around ...Read More »

  • Productivity and engagement, collaboration, team cohesion – these are all topics that are important to a company's success. These topics have come into focus as corporate enterprises look to adapt their culture to the ever-increasing millennial demographic. I’ve met with several Fortune 100 companies who understand that rigid company hierarchy, top-down management, and traditional meeting-driven culture just won’t attract and retain top talent anymore. These companies are looking for new ways to engage their employees, unleash their productive potential, and keep them excited about company goals. This is what is partly behind ...Read More »

  • If you work in either the Audio Visual (AV) or Information Technology (IT) sectors of our economy – you’ve probably heard the term ‘AV/IT convergence’. It’s a term that gets over-used and unless you’ve been installing cables on Mars you’re probably as tired of hearing about it as I am. What AV/IT convergence really means, in short, is that most of AV is being rethought in terms of software. Systems that once required complex and custom hardware can be re-envisioned as software or even cloud-based services. Cool. But you’ll notice that the convergence is mostly one-directional – AV systems aren’t replacing software. This ...Read More »

  • I was in a meeting recently with a video teleconferencing company who, perhaps surprisingly, made the comment ‘we all know that content is more important than video and voice’. A lot has changed since the early focus on portrait video of participant faces as the main channel for collaboration. It was a refreshing moment to see that the industry has recognized that content-centered meetings are fundamentally different (and often more important) than the accurate portrayal of each participant’s video. I’d like to think one of the reasons Solstice took off the way ...Read More »

  • I’m a software guy – I view most problems through the lens of software flexibility, algorithms, and user experience design. It’s probably why I was so shocked when I first realized that trillions of pixels were being deployed every year without a thought about how they are to be accessed and shared (past the video cable). Since that moment, we’ve developed and sold software that Intel rightly called 'software defined displays' several years ago. We decided that the Audio/Visual resellers and integrators were the right partners for us. Contrary to popular belief in ...Read More »