Friends Flail Amidst Feeding Frenzy of Fear

If markets are psychological, as we’ve been told countless times over the years, then this market needs to have the suicide hotline on speed dial.

There seemed to be a palpable sense of dread and anxiety hanging over the otherwise fabulous CES Unveiled event yesterday in New York. The electronics industry is usually full of swagger, confidence and can-do moxie, especially at this time of year, when the holiday season beckons and CES is imminent. This year, however, I experienced a widespread degree of discontent, disillusionment and outright disbelief at the current state of affairs. I heard exasperated and deeply concerning statements to the effect of “I’ve never seen anything like this before” from many wise old hands who have been around the block and through the dingy neighborhood of Recessionville several times in their careers. Even CEA’s normally bold predictions of upward industry mobility were positively muted from all accounts I received.

Even though this Unveiled felt in some ways more like a wake than a celebration, it just proved how powerful and important this yearly get-together really is. I’ve long held that Unveiled is the best pure social event in the CE industry, with lots of people connecting and reconnecting in all kinds of productive ways each year. This year, Unveiled functioned more like a support group. It was good for everyone to see everyone else and gird for the coming upheaval, whatever that may bring.

Hopefully we all get through this and come out the other side intact. As we head into the holiday season, we need all the positive energy we can generate. Maybe if we think positively enough, we can make this troubled market smile a little again yet.

Posted by: Joe Paone

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