Will Howard Hughes be at InfoComm13?

So I’m getting ready to make the trek from Orange County California to Orange County Florida for InfoComm 2013 and I am developing my plan of attack for the floor.  With 1000 exhibitors, a plan is a must.  However, a good plan must have the end in mind, so I need to know what I am looking for on the floor to make my plan worthwhile.  I can somewhat identify with fellow AV blogger Leonard Suskin, who stated in his latest blog that if he knew what he was looking for, he wouldn’t have to go to the show in the first place.  For me, I know the spirit of what I want to find on the floor, even if I don’t know exactly what it is.

What am I looking for at InfoComm2013?  Howard Hughes.

Who is the next AVator?
Obviously I know that Howard Hughes is no longer with us and I do not expect to come into contact with his spectral matter in a supernatural experience.  What I do hope to find though is his spirit being channeled by some AV companies on the floor.  Here are the Howard Hughes-like qualities I think we need to find on the floor if we hope to grow as an industry over the next year.


There was never any doubt that Howard Hughes had passion.  He dove head first into anything he set his sights on.  He needed to be the BEST.  He needed to be the FIRST.  “Me too” was not in Howard Hughes’ vocabulary, I can promise you that.  Passion is what drives innovation.  Passion is what inspires courage.  Passion is what changes the world.  No one ever started a revolution after reading a book report or after seeing the 253rd company release its version of the Cat5 based video extender.


If you need a lesson on courage, Howard Hughes is the ultimate teacher.  He repeatedly jumped into a flight suit and flew experimental aircraft at speeds never before recorded.  He did it again and again, even after 2 near fatal crashes.  The guy had guts.  He also risked his fortune on new ideas throughout his career.  He bet everything he owned on a feature film that everyone said was doomed to fail.  He put money into aircraft that may have exploded the second the engines were fired up.  He bought a failing airline and turned it completely around.  He stood against the giants of many industries and he won.  He didn’t risk someone else’s life or someone else’s VC money, he risked his own in both cases.  It takes courage to step into unknown territory.  Companies that move beyond incremental improvements to release products that push boundaries and open new frontiers are the ones with real courage.


This one is fairly easy.  Anyone who saw DiCaprio at the helm of The Aviator has a glimpse into the innovative mind of Howard Hughes.  From the recessed rivets on the airplanes, to the “Spruce Goose”, to the idea of flying above the weather to eliminate turbulence, Hughes continually changed the game.  I made some comments about the overuse of the term “Game Changer” in the press releases this year, but Hughes was definitely worthy of that moniker. Innovation doesn’t always come out of thin air either, I understand that.  Innovation usually comes for exploring best practices in different industries, products, countries, or even nature itself, to introduce proven principles and methodologies in a whole new way.

Hopefully we will see some of this on the floor this year, and will get a glimpse of where the future is taking us.

So, this year I am looking for Passion, Courage, and Innovation.

I will be giving out an Honorary @AVPhenom Howard Hughes AVator Award for those 3 categories at Infocomm 2013 so. . .

I need your help #AVTweeps!

If you see something that you believe deserves an award for Passion, Courage, or Innovation, tweet me and I’ll go take a look, I’ll even meet up with you if I can to get your take on why you think it is worthy.

Use my handle, @AVPhenom, and one of these hashtags #HHPassion, #HHCourage, #HHInnovation in your tweet.

Your tweet should look something like this:

“Hey @AVPhenom.  I nominate (company/product)at (booth #) for #HHPassion award.”

Thanks in advance for the help and I hope to find Howard Hughes alive and well at Infocomm13.