By Corey Moss
For those of you who have read my disruptive top picks at InfoComm 2017, thank you very much and I hope you were in agreement with some of them, if not all. I would, however, never expect everyone to agree with all of them, in fact I’m sure there were those out there who attended the show and said “hey he missed this one.” Granted that’s very possible, and I will agree that there are many worthy products, solutions and services that could qualify. In some cases there’s always next year, and one of my picks, Nureva’s HDL300 audio conferencing system (which first launched at InfoComm 2016) became one of those. One just needs to look at the awards given out for the show to know that not everyone wins, and that judging is done in numerous ways. Just to be clear, my disruptive picks are not meant to be awards, they are my selections. There is no sponsoring or influence of any kind.
One of those whom I selected reached out to ask about how I chose them and I was more than happy to oblige with a response. It was a fairly general response, nothing like a “because you were the coolest” or anything like that. I do like to take a professional approach to this and have since I began doing this in 2014, addressing the innovative and disruptive, and not a cool factor. In fact, I increased this year’s picks to 15 where they had been 10 in the past years. I added bonus picks, which I have done before, however this time in a separate piece where I felt these were picks that needed to be further defined.
I did have a certain encounter where I was told that I “missed” one. Now that’s just fine if any exhibitor feels like that, however my Nureva HDL300 pick is evidence of one product that I saw in 2016, and it made my 2017 list after seeing another demonstration of the product. I can only imagine that those who give out awards are met with some of the same types of encounters, this happened to be the very first one for me which perhaps means I’ve been on target all this time? Doubtful in everyone’s mind, but that’s always the challenge here.
My introduction to Part 1 actually derived from a 2015 Harvard Business Review article which discussed disruption in this way:
“Disruption” describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses. Specifically, as incumbents focus on improving their products and services for their most demanding (and usually most profitable) customers, they exceed the needs of some segments and ignore the needs of others. Entrants that prove disruptive begin by successfully targeting those overlooked segments, gaining a foothold by delivering more-suitable functionality—frequently at a lower price. Incumbents, chasing higher profitability in more-demanding segments, tend not to respond vigorously.
The AV industry is an ever-shifting technology market space (note this year’s approach to virtual reality) where a great focus on innovation and in turn disruption continue to be necessary strategic approaches.
With this in mind, I noted how the exhibitors look to bring a measure of impact to the attendees. If they don’t, there’s really not a reason to be at the show in the first place. I also noted how the larger companies in the market – the incumbents – must look to seriously up their game through enhanced product and solutions development, which in turn gives them the greater chance of impacting the industry. However for smaller companies and even startups, I did state that there’s certainly the chance as well.
In the past I have chosen major manufacturers, as well as the smaller companies and startups for my top picks. This year major manufacturers including Crestron, QSC, Shure, NEC Display Solutions, Barco and others made the list. I happened to select an industry distributor for the first time. I also selected a startup, Owl Labs, the company that brought the Meeting Owl to the show for private viewing (I did happen to be one of those selected to view the product). My bonuses were described as those that make a different kind of industry impact, and two were selected this time.
These were my picks, and if an exhibitor product, solution or service wasn’t selected that someone feels should have been there, please go ahead and place a comment. I always try to take a look at products and solutions that are suggested to me. If an exhibitor feels next year that they have a disruptive product, solution or service, please do get in touch prior to the show.
Here are the three parts.
With almost 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, The Edge of AV, EdTech Focus and The Show Corner. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers.