Wake up and smell the coffee!

Rick Merritt at EE Times. has a post out of CES regarding the wireless industry that bears reading. Once again semiconductor companies are shelling out truckloads of cash to present tired, repetitious information at a trade show that continues to damage their credibility and that of an entire industry.

The last wireless company I consulted for assured me that what they were demonstrating at CES was "real" and not just a demo; that they had customers ready to talk about how it was being implemented and would shortly be delivering product to the consumer market. That was two years ago and it still hasn't happened. In fact, that same company is at CES this year with the same story. The three other wireless companies I considered working with (but didn't) are also saying the same thing at the same place. No one believes their story either.

After that first foray into the wireless industry, and giving up some of my credibility with the press by convincing them that this company was the "real McCoy," I learned my lesson well. This is an example of an industry that is just not getting it.

I've said it before and I will say it again … trade shows are not the place to do press relations, public relations or marketing; it's a place to meet customers that have already heard about you through your press relations, public relations and marketing program. It's a place to talk about your real accomplishments, not what you hope to do. If you don't have that kind of story to tell by the time the trade show deadlines come around, then you shouldn't go. I'm convinced that most of the budget spent at CES would be more effective and profitable at the gambling tables and brothels in Nevada.

It's time to wake up and realize that the marketing practices of the 1980s don't work for startup companies, especially in the IC world. Wake up and do something different.

OK, I feel better now.