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The Boston Globe

Business

Innovation Economy

New electronics often face a marketing thicket

Last month, entrepreneur Dave Sukoff flew to Los Angeles to demo his product, a digital media player called the Sookbox, for a group of Hollywood notables at the Independent Spirit Awards. It was an opportunity to give away a $2,000 product to anyone who requested it. Sukoff was thrilled when actor Chris Tucker stopped by and was able to instantly call up Tucker’s movie “Rush Hour” on the screen. About 10 of the Spirit Awards attendees told Sukoff they’d love it if he’d send them a complimentary Sookbox.

It was a glamorous trip for Sukoff, but it also hinted at the rough reality of getting a new consumer electronics company off the ground. Even after giving away $20,000 worth of products to a coterie of taste-makers, Sukoff says, the eight-person Cambridge start-up is still trying to figure out its “go-to-market strategy.” Like an indie filmmaker trying to understand whether it makes more sense to try to get onto multiplex screens or go straight to iTunes, entrepreneurs developing electronics products have to place a bet about whether BestBuy or Amazon or something else is the best route to reach consumers.

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