Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thank You, Martha Stewart

Today, I am attending the fourth annual D: All Things Digital Conference in Carlsbad, CA ( As always, it is a very interesting conference with a variety of speakers under the auspices of executive producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal.

The highlight of today was a Q&A session between Walt and Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation. He was substantive and very funny.

During the audience participation portion of the session, Martha Stewart stood up and asked Stringer a question. She was holding a large shopping bag, and, one after another, pulled out power cord after power cord for all of her digital devices that she needs to carry on the road. Her question was: Why can’t we have one universal charger? Good question.

But, I will raise the greater question: why do we need chargers at all? I am sensitive to this question because my firm is fortunate to represent a company that makes the key component for fuel cells ( Not only do we think about these issues every day; but, more importantly, we are shocked that more people aren’t focusing on the fundamental question: when will we have a portable power solution that solves the “runtime gap.” Do you know that, in spite of a lot of hype, you probably can’t watch a whole TV show on a cell phone without a recharge?

We are continuously looking for ways to sensitize influencers to this runtime gap problem. And, today, of all people, Martha Stewart handed us an answer! Thank you.


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