Mark Needham, chairman of consumer electronics distributor Widget, shares his predictions for the year ahead:
1. I’ll remember 2011 for… the cancellation of the Flip Video product by Cisco. I was at a trade show in Birmingham on a stand sponsored by Cisco, when the news came through that the product line we were selling had been canned. It left a nasty hole in Widget’s sales forecast for the year and meant redundancy for many of the Cisco reps standing round me.
2. 2012 will be great because… small firms like ours can react quickly to a change of environment. When we finished licking our wounds from losing one great product, we went out and found two more the Orbitsound sound bar, and the Fitbit electronic fitness monitor.
3. One sector we’ll hear a lot from this year will be… electronic products that help monitor and hopefully encourage fitness. Now that you can get a computer into the size of a small badge, we will find ourselves wearing more and more of them.
4. One thing that would help me grow my business in 2012 is… the emergence of more retailers who include consumer electronics in their ranges. Even through a recession, one or two new retail formats should emerge, and we look forward to finding them.
5. My New Year’s resolution for 2012 is… to continue communicating what we do, to staff, to customers, to the media, in person and in print. I hope this piece helps!