While my colleagues in the blogosphere and press covered the new tablets and 3D TVs from powerhouses like Panasonic, Microsoft, and HTC, the products of company that you’ve never heard of, Satzuma, brought the biggest smile to my face. This company sells nothing but fun USB devices such as arm wrestlers, plasma balls, refrigerators, space ships, lava lamps, fish tanks, and missile launchers.
There it sat, a molehill amongst the mountains in the south hall. It had a ten foot by ten foot booth which, to put things into perspective, is smaller than what most CES exhibiters allocate for the storage of employee bags. Mathetically, 100 square feet is 0.000055555555556 of CES. Satzuma illustrates three important skills for small businesses:
- Do one thing well. A small business has to do one thing well. It cannot be all things to all people for two reasons: first, it’s hard to do many things well. Second, it’s hard to communicate that you do many things well.
- Make it a fun thing. Picture this: you’re pushing and shoving 100,000 of your closest friends to see the latest OLED TV, and you stumble upon a booth with USB missle launchers and aquariums. Who would not at least smile, if not stop, to learn more?
- Think different. I didn’t search every square foot of CES to find other USB missile launchers, but there was a sea of iPhone and iPod case manufacturers that I zipped past. It’s much better to be the one USB-fun-device company than the umpteenth iPhone accessory company.
If nothing else, Satzuma proves that by doing things this way, you can attract attention in something as large and noisy as CES. Truly, when it comes to small business, if there’s a skill, there’s a way.