That Candy Store Feeling

Do you remember that Candy Store feeling when you were a kid? You know what I mean…right? You had a favorite – no doubt – but when confronted with the full array of availabilities, your eyes grew wide; your certain choice receded into the background and a quick transaction turned deliciously agonizing for you (no doubt, not so for your parents…), and if you were lucky and the adults with you were in the right mood, you scored more than your original choice.

How about the Toy Store? Same experience – right?  Talk about wide eyes…you really, really wanted that Transformer, Barbie or Mad Scientist set – but, well, maybe, could I please have one more? An ironic twist on old Oliver…to say the least. And you threw a tantrum…you can fill in the rest.

Me? I’m on my third round and perspective on this one – started with my own tantrums, managed my kids, and now give my grandsons whatever…

Now to the point…

CES (the annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas) is the Candy Store; it’s the Toy Shop equivalent for adults. In fact, it’s the experience on steroids. It’s written about; broadcast on; blogged; Tweeted; filmed; and legions of digital camera-toting fans, aficionados and candy/toy lovers shamelessly snap away so that they can plan a future visit to their own toy/candy store.

FULL DISCLOSURE. I was there and did the same.

What a place. You don’t know which way to turn, where to look first or even how to begin.

You begin by telling yourself it’s all about the technology – you are there to learn…RIGHT. Within a few moments all you want to do is see the newest 3D exhibits, marvel at the colors and depth of the latest TVs, listen to the greatest sounds you have ever heard, and of course marvel at the ultra-thin newest and wildest screens that are so thin they could be wallpaper.

True – you also drool at the convergence of more traditional broadcast and Internet, and shake your head in awe as you realize that while your favorite movie is playing in full THX, surround-sound, 3D, realistic organic you are in it mode – you can also Skype, e-mail, add to your recipes and blog…RIGHT! Quickly you return to the picture and the fact that with this new technology you can access more shows, more movies and more experiences – as for the Skype…you tell me…not when I’m watching!

So how do you make sense of it all?

To begin, you might Bing and see what you can find – to help you along I provide the following link – one of thousands:

Or – if you were in Las Vegas – and lucky enough to be a client, friend or colleague, you could join and take – what is known as “Irwin’s Tour” – possibly the most sought-after ticket at CES after Kid Rock.

Irwin, by the way, is Irwin Gotlieb, CEO of Group M and, if you follow this link, much, much more:

He is an unabashed techno-geek who understands and revels in the technology (I have seen him hold his own with the developers of Star Wars type stuff); who uses technology at its razor-thin edge but, more importantly, can explain it in English so that we can all understand and maybe even more importantly – in fact, yes, more importantly – knows and understands how (or how not) it will be used today, next year and in a decade. So if you are in the business, you need to hear his view.

Irwin spends a day reconnoitering the miles of exhibits and carefully plans a journey that leads to enlightenment and frankly the ultimate cool experience and takeaway.

So, together with my boss, Daniel Morel (who like me loves tech toys – although I was trumped by the Bluetooth connection to Pandora on his Harley through his helmet speakers), we joined the Irwin Tour (as always) and spent the next two hours immersed in the best the show has to offer.

Check out these little Flips to get a sense of Irwin and what we saw:

Irwin’s Private CES Intro 2010



But here is the thing – with all the technology, and the whiz bang and all the jargon, terms, specialized lingo and potential gobbledygook – what makes Irwin’s tour amazing is the sheer joy and wonder he instills in all of his explanations and his choice of what to see.

He is like the kid in the Candy Store, and he made us all feel the same – and when you emerge from CES with a wide-eyed stare and practical information, you have made the experience worthwhile.

All of which led me to a favorite source for the sheer joy of wisdom, knowledge and magic…


“…Curiosity has its own reason for existing… Never lose a holy curiosity.” Albert Einstein

So you can go to CES – or anywhere – and be jaded – or you can be the Kid in the Candy Store. Thank you, Irwin!!!!!!!

As I left with my candy whistle – Daniel and I were planning how to make interactive wallpaper out of the crazy thin new screens…now we only need a real business model and some more candy. Any ideas?

What did you like best? What would you really like to have?

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