The other night at the Showstoppers event, I came across an interesing little company called GGMM from China. They're apparently the biggest maker of Apple accessories in China -- or digital accessories -- or both, or something like that. It was a little hard to tell, but they were very nice, and make wonderfully-designed products. They're trying to break into the U.S. market which is a tough nut to crack. But best of all was their dynamo PR person, Sophia Hu. She's charming, speaks respectably good English (far better than my Chinese), hilariously determined and very polite. She insisted I visit their booth today at the Sands Convention Center, where I saw a few more of their products, and then they took me to lunch.
We went to Emeril Lagasse's Table 10 at the Venetian, which has far better food than my meal last night at Cici's Pizza (though I love the concept of macaroni-and-cheese pizza, which is sort of fun to eat). Joining us -- at lunch not Cici's... -- was the CEO of the company, Mr. Tong, and Jing Zhao, the GM in their San Francisco office. It was all very nice, but the intriguing thing was that Mr. Tong doesn't speak English. So, there was a whole lot of translating going on. But overall, I think we got through everything reasonable well. Among other things, they were asking for input on getting press attention, and whether it was a positive or negative to play up their company's China background. I tried to make as absolutely clear as possible that they shouldn't be relying on my opinion on this, but I certainly was happy to put in my 2-cents. Which I think was its value.
A quick note on a couple of their products. One was a really nicely-designed case for an iPad, which additionally connects a keyboard to the tablet, or can be separated so that you can use the keyboard wirelessly if you want the iPad farther away. It was a bit on the heavy-side, but extremely versatile. They also had a nice, portable stand for a tablet, the iLight, which was also multi-purpose, serve additionally as a light stand. I just checked, and you can find the GGMM website online, if you're interested in seeming more about them.
By the way, to show how determind and charming Sophia Hu is -- she gave birth to a son just five months ago. Coming to CES is dedication beyond the call of duty!
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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