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Michael Buratto

Name: Michael Buratto
Age: 38
Job: Title Director of Product Development, Home and
Commercial Audio
Company: Klipsch
Years in the Industry: 10
Education: B.S., University of Michigan

Dealerscope’s 40 Under 40 Honoree 2021

Describe your current role.
I currently oversee development for all of our home theater and two-channel products, as well as our architectural and commercial solutions.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of how our team has come together over the last 18 months to launch the most technologically advanced products in our brand’s history, all while working remotely. We’ve streamlined our processes, completely overhauled and expanded our software development, and are working on one of the most exciting product and technology roadmaps I’ve seen in my tenure with Klipsch.

I think it’s easy to get burned out without the social interaction of being in an office, but it’s a testament to our team to see the exact opposite happening — we’ve never been more focused, creative, and driven.

What do you like best about your job?
A high-performance audio system can elevate the emotional experience of your favorite music or your favorite movie. Our customers are so insanely passionate about our products. I love the challenge of crafting these experiences for such a discerning and knowledgable group, all while carrying the torch of our 75-year Klipsch legacy.

What technology are you most excited about at the moment?
Over the last decade, our phones have become a seamless extension of our being — a ubiquitous medium for communication, research, navigation, and everything in between.

I’m most excited about seeing augmented and virtual reality create the next generation of that seamless integration — where AR, VR, and spatial audio render our interactions with our devices and apps indistinguishable from our everyday interactions with our environment.

Who in the CE or technology industry do you look up to, and why?
I’ve been incredibly inspired by the work of Meredith Whittaker, the former Google AI researcher who has become a prominent voice for ethics in big tech — particularly regarding privacy rights and AI transparency. She has also been vocal regarding workplace diversity and civil liberty protections in tech.

The work that Whittaker is doing is vastly important as we harness the power of AI in consumer electronics, and look to create inclusive, inspiring workplaces in our industry.

What career advice would you give to people just getting started in the CE or technology industry?
The best boss I’ve ever had once told me that the world is run by the people who “choose to show up.” Technology is moving so quickly and the future is so unknown that the CE industry needs people that bring informed, confident, and innovative ideas, regardless of their experience level. Don’t be afraid to stand up and lead.

What, in your opinion, is necessary for the CE/technology industry to thrive in the next five years?
In order to thrive in the next five years, the CE industry will need to look beyond traditional customer experience. We’ve perfected the psychology of buy buttons and user interfaces, but consumer expectations are now focused on BRAND experience, and those expectations are fluid across industries. In order to truly thrive, CE brands will need to be wholly customer-obsessed from the top down — establishing a corporate vision and purpose that connects with consumers on a spiritual level, not just from product to product.