10 Years at CES

CES-LogoI had to get on LinkedIn to check and confirm that this year’s CES was my 10th. In 2004, I had my first “real job” as a product manager for Numark making DJ gear.

During that year, I started working with a young brand owned by Numark called ION Audio. At the time, ION was basically a brand to sell the entry Numark DJ products into Best Buy and Circuit City. It was basically Dave Rasp and me running the brand with the full support of about 100 of the brightest employees at Numark in Rhode Island. With the ability to launch and create a hit product in one week (of the ION USB Turntable) at CES, I knew there was something magical about this show!

I had the privilege to travel with Numark to various Music Industry (MI) shows like NAMM and WMC. In January 2005, we took ION Audio to CES… I will never forget my first show. It felt like I was living under a rock for the past 24 years after seeing over 100,000 industry professionals converge to Vegas for what I know now to be the greatest show on Earth.

I traveled with Delphi to CES selling and promoting XM products. I launched my company at CES with a stack of business cards in 2008. I met with investors, bankers, and strategic partners at CES in 2013. And now in 2014, Ford has acquired us. Sounds pretty cool (I know)… However, with all of the business, the best part of CES is the relationships I have made with my peers.

CES is my show. It’s a place where I get to kick back and talk to my friends in business, from the press, investors, CEA staff, and general buddies from the tech industry. Like my small college town, I can’t go from one hall to another without a high five from a friend.

Without CES there would not be a Livio Radio, and I’d probably still be working in the (awesome) DJ MI industry. I am responsible for starting my company, but it wouldn’t have started, survived, or sold to Ford without THE Consumer Electronic Show.

Shoutout to all of the passionate staff from CEA. I know in 50 years, I’ll still be at CES in January, working with young entrepreneurs promoting the American dream!

Jake