Good morning, All,

CES was last week, once again, we did not attend. Shelly Palmer broke it down, hall by hall, if you’re interested.  Or, if you’re up for a little more fun, What weird tech trends from CES 2014 mean to the average person, aka, CES seen through the eyes of the twitterverse. CES is always full of the newest/coolest things we’ll all see in the stores soon enough. It’s loud. It’s noisy. It’s packed. It’s exhausting. If you’re exhibiting, it’s expensive. It’s not where you’re always likely to find the Next Big Thing.

TechCrunch did a piece on how MakerBot Is Changing The World and we agree. Although, we knew that when we first saw Bre Pettis with one of his early MakerBots at the Sheraton in NYC in 2009 – when he was lost in a sea of small exhibitors, and no one paid any attention to him. At all. But then, he was a big, gawky, former school teacher – that doesn’t necessarily make for good press and he everything you’d expect a nerd to look like, before Silicon Valley went chic and video killed the radio star: we want our young world-changers in their 20s and mediagenic. We saw the future in the little plastic figures Pettis was creating in his MakerBot – although we saw the possibility for replacement parts for all those parts manufacturers put in that they know will break and charge you a fortune to replace, despite the fact that it costs them pennies.

That was five years ago. MakerBot has since been acquired. Pettis still dresses the same way he did in 2009, but he’s now Geek Chic, mediagenic by infusion (of success) and no one ignores him. The room at the Sheraton where he was exhibiting way back when was abuzz with media, and still no one paid an iota of attention to him, and we watched him and his MakerBot, fascinated by what he was doing and the possibilities, but more than anything, by his singular focus on what he was doing, and what he was creating. Most of the people who stopped by his little table assumed he was a toymaker and said as much, not addressing him directly. He was quietly smiling.

The future isn’t waiting around the corner in the next booth at CES. It starts on small tables in crowded rooms; is often drowned out by the maddening din and yet its creators sit quietly smiling, with their eyes on their work.

As always, the future belongs to those who can see it coming. Onward and forward.

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