Chapter 1

The New Monday Morning Quarterback

For a week every January, Las Vegas replaces Silicon Valley as the technology hub of the world. The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) attracts 150,000 exhibitors, attendees, government officials, investors, and fans from around the world.1 They come to see an orgy of technologies at the show that even outshines Vegas's other outlandish attractions.

The show has traditionally been a harbinger of technology and societal trends with the products that are launched there: 1981 saw the introduction of the camcorder, 1991 the Interactive CD, 2001 the Microsoft Xbox. Each year in between and after there have been other spectacular announcements.

The year 2011 was no different. It will likely go down as the “Year of the Tablet.” Over 100 options from Motorola, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba, and others competed for attention at CES.2 They were all hoping to match the phenomenal launch of the Apple iPad a few months prior. If the 7,000 journalists, bloggers, and analysts at the show were not exhausted from analyzing the varied tablet form/factors and new features, they were chasing down rumors at the show about whether Apple was about to launch a Verizon version of the iPhone. (The rumor was later confirmed as Apple provided an option to the AT&T network that was previously an exclusive for the iPhone in the U.S. market.)

Lost in the excitement about iPad killers and iPhone rumors at the show was an even more significant nugget—the list of ...

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