The new importance of CES

The new importance of CES

The new importance of CES

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I just finished a series of CES previews by PC vendors, and I can easily say that of the products I reviewed, Lenovo will likely win at CES this year. I can’t tell you why or what they’re announcing, but it got me thinking about why CES might be so much bigger than I thought if used the way Lenovo uses it.


I haven’t been a fan of CES because it’s too early for back-to-school or the upcoming holiday shopping season. Plus, it messes up the holidays for those who have to prepare to present at the event, and with a tri-demic underway, it could impact attendees worse. People in my age group (my wife would suggest adding the word “advanced”) should probably attend remotely, as I will due to the risk of serious illness.

But after seeing Lenovo’s pitch for its announcement next month at CES, I realized that for those who are truly innovating, CES could be the perfect show to set the bar for the rest of the market and take a leadership position. undisputed for 2023.

Let’s talk about CES and market leadership this week, and we’ll end with my product of the week, a new line of dual-card graphics cards from AMD that’s blowing everything else away right now.

The problems of innovation

We like to talk about innovation, but innovation involves a problem that we cannot solve using existing approaches and technologies. After decades as an analyst, it seems to me that most innovation is about trying to solve a problem differently than a current tool that generally works better.

When innovation stands out, it’s because it solves a problem that existing tools can’t handle or does it in a significantly better way than traditional tools. In other words, innovation for its own sake is dumb. However, when applied to an unsolved or poorly solved problem, innovation can be great if people are convinced that it brings a significantly better result.

Resistance to change

This brings up the second problem with innovation: it has a strong marketing requirement because, with all the hype around innovation, we don’t like change.

We become comfortable with the way things are and can become angry with change. To some extent, this is related to age. The younger you are, the more you accept and even drive change. The older you are, the more you cherish stability and tradition. But regardless of age and tolerance for innovation, if someone doesn’t convincingly show you why the innovative product is better, even young people won’t buy it.

Risk factor

Finally, innovation is risky. When it comes to long-standing products, you know a lot about what the market is currently accepting because the existing product is selling. But when you innovate, you guess what buyers want they don’t get, and the risk that you could be wrong increases astronomically.

This introduces a risk because you can be wrong. Your business needs to be tolerant of risk taking because despite everything written about the need to take risks, most businesses punish rather than reward risk taking.

For example, I once met the CEO of Ford, who talked about how he had changed Ford’s risk-taking culture, but then pointed out that if someone took a risk with Ford’s pickup truck, the F-150, which was Ford’s mainstay, and if he got it wrong, they’d be shot.

Obviously, he didn’t understand risk-taking at all because the message he was sending was that Ford wasn’t really willing to back him. The F-150 would serve as an example to others who, regardless of what the CEO said, he disagreed with the idea.

In short, whether or not you support risk taking. Sure, the risks should be reasonable, but if you focus on limiting risk taking, you will kill innovation. (I should point out that the CEO I met was kicked out of Ford several years ago.)

Setting the bar for technological innovation

CES is arguably the most risk-taking place, as it’s the first big tech show of the year. It sets the bar for the year in terms of technical innovation in a few markets, including automotive. Although we don’t think of it as a car show, when it comes to technologies such as in-car entertainment and autonomous driving, this is where you see these advancements first. Even targeted auto shows are subordinate to CES.

Historically, tech vendors really aren’t ready in January for their most innovative push, so it’s only mid-year when we see the most exciting things. As noted, this year I think Lenovo is going to smack other vendors like it has with its Threadripper workstations and aggressive use of water cooling in the pro space. Presenting it at CES rather than later in the year, marketing (which has an impressive staff) needs to be resourced to support the load.

Used well, a company could hit hard at CES and be talked about the following year if it hits hard enough. Admittedly, this comes with risks because if the market disagrees with where you have innovated, you could dig a hole that will take time to dig. I’m a big proponent of swinging for fences because if you don’t, you’ll never hit that home run.

Lenovo has moved intensely towards market leadership lately. The hit it takes is risky, but it has shown it can perform, so keep an eye on Lenovo. I think you will see the company differently after the show.


I have a new respect for CES, and I think I understand how it could be so much more powerful than it is now. As the first big tech show of the year, it sets the bar if vendors showing up aggressively come up with innovative solutions to problems that not only haven’t been solved, but that customers weren’t even aware of. they had.

Done right, a vendor in a variety of markets, including automotive, home appliances, personal tech, PCs, and increasingly robotics, could crowd out competitors much like Apple did with smartphones a few decades ago and dominate the market.

Lenovo is taking this shot this year, and while it won’t be showcased at CES, keep an eye out for Lenovo. I think it will surprise the market and show how other vendors could use this show to go beyond their competitors. So, just like that, I get what CES should always have been: the one show to rule them all (Gollum says “hi”).

Tech Product of the Week

AMD RX 7900 XT/XTX graphics cards

AMD has just woken up the gaming world with two graphics cards, the RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX, which are well above their suggested retail price, which unfortunately means they’ve sold out massively and are getting huge bounties. .

They look fantastic in a case and show just how far AMD has come in the GPU space competitively.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card | Image credit: AMD

These are truly impressive graphics cards, enhanced by a software driver solution that allows easy management for professional and amateur gamers.

Choice of players

I’ve watched gaming forums where the dialogue on AMD (both CPUs and GPUs) has shifted from seeing the company as a value player in the space to being the performance king. I’m a little surprised on the CPU side, not because AMD’s Threadripper CPU isn’t great, but because gaming relies heavily on GPU performance these days. But many gamers scoff at their peers who aren’t currently using AMD processors, which shows how AMD’s image has changed over time.

Utilizing a balance of absolute performance, plug-and-play ease of installation, high color accuracy, and advanced chiplet technology, these cards set a new bar for gamers, and gamers seem to love them so much they’ve repurchased the game. existing offer. Thus, you might want to wait a little longer before buying one of these cards as the lack of supply does some ugly things on pricing.

Unlike some of the other more expensive competitor parts, these don’t require special connectors, fit in most cases, and are much less power hungry, helping us reduce our rising energy costs.

If you like to game and want the best performance for your money at a price close to the suggested retail price, these new AMD cards are a great deal and represent a potentially new era for AMD as a powerful player in the space. GPUs. Moreover, they were a wake-up call for Nvidia, which went in a very different direction.

In the end, like the market, I’m very impressed with the AMD RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX cards, making them my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.


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