Monday, January 5, 2009

Which Mass. Companies Will Be at CES This Week?

The Globe's Hiawatha Bray wrote a piece over the weekend about some of the Massachusetts companies that'll take part in the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Vegas, including companies like MyVu, Tivoli Audio, and iRobot. Many smaller firms, like Zink Imaging and WiTricity (not mentioned in the piece), will have hotel suites instead of booths on the show floor.

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday's Globe column: Trying to Best Bose

Yesterday's Globe column focused on Chestnut Hill Sound, a small Newton start-up that is competing head-to-head with more established players like Bose, Boston Acoustics, and Tivoli in the market for iPod-compatible music systems.

Here's the opening:

    Only a few weeks after launching his first product, Steve Krampf realized his tiny Newton company had shown up as a blip on the radar screens of two of the biggest players in home audio: Bose Corp. and Boston Acoustics.

    Two orders trickled in, one each from the two rivals, for the $499 iPod-compatible music system that Krampf's company, Chestnut Hill Sound Inc., launched last year.

    Krampf wasn't surprised that other audio companies were doing some intelligence-gathering; he'd been doing the same with their products, analyzing their acoustical qualities, ease of use, and electronic innards.

And here's the video, with Chestnut Hill CEO Steve Krampf demoing his system:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dinner Discussion on Consumer Tech in Boston

Last Thursday night, I moderated a dinner discussion at Sandrine's in Harvard Square called "Consumer Tech in Boston...Stalking the Wily Consumer."

The goal was to bring together a group of entrepreneurs, execs, and designers who create consumer products (whether physical or digital), share some "best practices," and talk about what it takes to swim against the prevailing current here in Massachusetts (which, if you haven't noticed, is enterprise tech.) This was one of the occasional Nantucket Conference-related dinners held on the mainland; the private subterranean dining room at Sandrine's was packed with about 40 people.

Our speakers were:

    > Steve Krampf, Co-founder and CEO, Chestnut Hill Sound (creator of "George")
    > Antonio Rodriguez, Founder, Tabblo; General Manager, HP Publishing Services
    > Harry West, VP of Strategy and Innovation, Continuum; the firm has been involved in designing Reebok's pump sneaker, P&G's Swiffer, nTag's intelligent nametag, and OLPC's $100 Laptop
    > Carl Yankowski, CEO, Ambient Devices; former CEO of Palm Computing and President of Sony Electronics.

Among the topics we covered were market research...retailer/distributor loops...fundraising...the connection between hardware and software...and the merits of simplicity.

Chiming in from the audience, you'll hear Woody Benson of Prism VentureWorks, David Friend of Carbonite, and John Landry of Lead Dog Ventures (among others.)

The audio file is here in MP3 form. It's just under 50 minutes long...and there's lots of audible silverware clinking and wine drinking (so I'd recommend listening to it while you're chowing down.)

Antonio also posted some thoughts on the discussion on his blog.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,