|By Maureen O'Gara||
|June 25, 2004 12:00 AM EDT||
There won't be a Comdex this year.
(Long pause for general chortling and rejoicing as shoemakers everywhere weep.)
Industry ennui killed it.
The current owners of the biggest money-spinner besides Microsoft ever spawned by the Computer Revolution claim they're "postponing" the thing to "reshape" it, which - according to the old VP of PR for the grand old Comdex, David Kaminer - is polite show talk for the show is over. "If you don't floor it," he said, "you 'postpone' it."
The Las Vegas Conventional Center and environs are still expecting Comdex to pay for the space it reserved for November.
It's hard to conceive of how much money changed hands and how much technology came to market and how many people made a living because Comdex existed.
And Comdex existed because of the pre-PC foresight of a small-time show manager named Shelly Adelson, who in March of 1979 was inspired to create it by a start-up publication called Computer Systems News that was brought into existence for CMP Publications by a young, unseasoned, second-generation reporter named Maureen O'Gara.
Starting in a small back ballroom of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that fall thanks to the support rendered by DEC's OEM unit run by Jake Jacobs, Comdex became, as the Wall Street Journal once called it, the "High Holy Days of High Tech," distinguished by the "miles of aisles" that inexorably enveloped the whole desert town until it took up a million square feet.
It was, someone once calculated, "the largest non-religious gathering in America," the industry's great annual homecoming - and the people who came, armed with pens and a clinching handshake, were the decision makers.
In its heyday, airlines flew because of it, convention centers were built because of it, hotels overflowed because of it and Las Vegas, originally a really cheap place to play, jacked its prices through the roof because of it.
One year, conference director Peter Young lined up a guest speaker by the name of Bill Gates - a kid Shelly - who only learned of the booking later - dismissed as "that high school student" until Gates' picture suddenly started appearing on the covers of business magazines because his company just went public.
Shelly always was lucky - that is if one considers luck the "residue of design and desire" like Branch Rickey, the "Mahatma" of baseball, did.
Shelly sold Comdex at its peak to the Japanese-wannabe-big-time Softbank for $860 million. In April, 1995 that kind of sum was still real money. Shelly went on to buy the Sands Hotel, level it and build the Venetian among other hotels.
Softbank, in turn, had its ups and downs, but Comdex still thrived - ultimately attracting 212,000 visitors and 2,500 exhibitors - until Softbank, which had also bought Ziff-Davis, found it necessary to focus on a core business and turned over Comdex to a Ziff-Davis spinout called the Key3Media Group, which had absolutely no knack for show business and turned the Golden Goose into a crude country pâté.
The show lost its messianic appeal and its true audience, chipped away to a mere brand by bad management, the Internet, industry consolidation, changes in the distribution channel, rivals and Arab terrorism.
By 2002, Key3Media was in hock up to its eyeballs and facing bankruptcy, its stock was worthless and had been drummed off the Big Board, half it board had quit and it was only able to meet its bank loans because of a windfall insurance settlement stemming from 9-11.
Key3Media emerged from bankruptcy a year ago as MediaLive International Inc, which has been trying to keep Comdex alive as a B2B event. The last Comdex drew only 40,000 people and 550 exhibitors.
MediaLive said Wednesday on the news of the show's cancellation that it's established a Comdex Advisory Board and has pressed some industry lights into putting their thinking caps on trying to dream up ways to salvage the show.
It claimed that it could "still run a profitable Comdex this year," but "it does not benefit the industry to do so without broader support of the leading technology companies."
MediaLive said it had commitments to join the advisory board from John Volkmann, VP, strategic communications, AMD; George Paolini, VP, general manager of developer tools, Borland Software; Mark Fredrickson, VP, corporate communications, EMC; Timothy Curran, CEO, Global Technology Distribution Council; Jeff Singsaas, director of events, Microsoft; Robert Shimp, VP, technology marketing, Oracle; and Peter Weedfald, senior VP, strategic marketing and new media, Samsung Electronics.
Executives from Cisco, Dell and Intel have also agreed to join the board and invitations have been extended to other companies, MediaLive said.
The next Comdex in Las Vegas, which they're thinking of turning into a user conclave, is scheduled for November 13-17, 2005.
|Ivan Cruz 06/25/04 03:50:37 PM EDT|
> turned over Comdex to a Ziff-Davis spinout called the
Nope. Comdex and many other bussiness (specialy tech publications) is just another victim of Internet. Why expend four figures to have news, trends and information I can have faster and fresher right from my desk?
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 31, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 442
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 347
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 30, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 136
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 30, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 154
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 225
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 289
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 876
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 30, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 228
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 619
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 444
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 398
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
Aug. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 123
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 396
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 212
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 134
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 556
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 480
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,564
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 281
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,228