Believe it or not, some early press releases for The Cable Show have started to hit the wires. (Didn’t we just wrap up Cable Show ’09?) And while I’m not ready to talk about any Motorola news yet, the early releases have me thinking about what we’ll see at next month’s event. Like any tradeshow, some of the demos will feature technological advancements with the potential to improve services, decrease costs, and spur innovation. Others will offer little more than smoke and mirrors. To help separate the real stuff from the eye candy, here are five questions to consider with every demo you see. Note, this list could be adapted for use at other trade events, but your mileage may vary.
5 Questions for Evaluating a Cable Show Demo*
- Does it work on a live network? (or just in a controlled booth environment…)
- Is the price range in the realm of something either a service provider or a consumer (or both) would pay?
- Are you being asked to judge the demo as a concept, or an actual product?
- Does the demo show something that most content owners would conceivably support?
- Will it scale? (both the technology and the business model…)
*One point for each “yes,” with further weighting based on the answer for #3.