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Silicon Valley: When were we dead?

May 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

Sarah Lacy’s new book “Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good,” which I wrote about last week, has a sub-head stating, “The rebirth of Silicon Valley.” Chris O’Brien is the new business columnist for the San Jose Mercury News and in his first column yesterday (you need to add this to your RSS feed) he writes, in part, that Silicon Valley is “(a) region that appeared sunk after the dot-com bust has once again reinvented itself…” My response to both of these concepts is: talk to Intel. Talk to HP. Talk to Cisco. Talk to Apple. Talk to Adobe. Talk to eBay. Talk to Oracle. Talk to Yahoo! Talk to Symantec. Etc. I would think that we would all argue that while the dot com downturn impacted us all, we never needed reinvention or rebirth. We’re all doing pretty much the same thing…more innovation, for sure, but same as pre-dot.com. I would also argue that while web 2.0 is very exciting (I use facebook, twitter, digg and a number of other Web 2.0 “tools” and companies) I would ask what impact have these technologies had on job creation and revenue to equal a “rebirth” or “reinvention” of Silicon Valley? While Cisco is adopting some Web 2.0 technologies to help run our business (see, WebEx et al) and while Silicon Valley is always innovating products to support and drive web 2.0 technologies, I don’t think that routers and switches and servers and computer chips and databases, etc. ever were dead…so, no need of rebirthing or reinvention. Always innovating, however.Maybe a nit on my part, but an important one I think.

Sarah Lacy’s Web 2.0 Book: “Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good”

May 15, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

Cisco is all about Web 2.0., so with that in mind, I attended an “Book Club” interview yesterday at Outcast Communications between Michael Arrington of TechCrunch and Sarah Lacy. They were talking about Sarah’s new book (to be released today), “Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good” which grew out of Sarah’s BusinessWeek cover story of Digg’s Kevin Rose in August of 2006. The sub-head of the book is “The rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0.” While I might argue that with Cisco, Intel, HP, Genentech, Sun, Google, eBay, Adobe, Apple, Oracle, Symantec, Verisign, Yahoo! and many others that a few start-ups don’t define a Silicon Valley rebirthing, I look forward to reading the book and her point of view.Sarah Lacy Book.jpgHer book “is the story of the entrepreneurs who learned their lesson from the bust and in recent years have created groundbreaking new Web companies. The second iteration of the dotcoms-dubbed Web 2.0-is all about bringing people together. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace unite friends online; YouTube lets anyone posts videos for the world to see; Digg.com allows Internet users to vote on the most relevant news of the day; Six Apart sells software that enables bloggers to post their viewpoints online; and Slide helps people customize their virtual selves.”I got a copy of the book last night (thanks for signing it, Sarah) and haven’t read it yet, but will and will offer a review on this site asap.Note: If you’d like to see (and kind of hear) the Arrington/Lacy interview, you can do so on TechCrunch site via Qik. Qik allows you to stream live videos from your phone, so the sound quality without external mics is a bit iffy, but still a pretty cool technology.

Paris 2018

Social networking sites are buzzing; the debut of Google Friend Connect promises to add to that buzz. And so, the race is on to make social networks much more open and portable, according to Kim Hart in her recent blog post,”The All-Things-Social Craze.” But as important is the power of the most global of social networks -the Internet, itself. The earth is flattening, and our sense of community now transcends geographic boundaries. History and environmental lessons on-demand, mash-ups-our modern-day trip diaries-the reach of the Internet has triggered a curiosity in us, a desire to share thoughts and experiences. Simple tools give us the ability to zoom in on a small town or bit of countryside we’ve always wondered about. Or, even more granularly, take us to a street-view, giving us the experience of being a virtual pedestrian. But let’s take it to the next level. It’s 2018, and I’ve got a bit of shopping to do. Not at the local mall, though. I’ve heard of this chic new store, but it’s not in Los Gatos, where I live; it is in Paris. No worries. I zoom into the south bank from my laptop (or just as easily from my cellphone), and make my way along St. Germain. I find the store and enter. And I’m transported to an immersive web experience, a generation beyond what Second Life provides. As I’m browsing, someone from the store comes to my aid. Just as if I was there in person. Questions answered, purchase made. Read More »

Mother’s Day and Mother Earth

May 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

I would like to bring a blog entry from Alan Cohen to your attention on Mother’s Day and Mother Earth. Alan is our peripatetic Vice President of Enterprise Solutions. One day you might find him commenting on the Sports Museum of America…the next, he might be interviewed by InformationWeek on Unified Communications, and on another, he might be be at the NBA All-Star game in New Orleans.In his Mother’s Day blog entry, he writes about Mother Earth, and states:

“Climate change is not a fashion issue: it is a boardroom issue. Increasingly we see environmental responsibility taken seriously. Businesses, consumers and service providers of all sizes are driving behavioral change to protect the environment. Tightening environmental regulations accelerate this trend.”

I invite you to read his blog entry on climate change and Mother Earth and the part Cisco plays.

Cisco Statement on Counterfeit Goods

Statement by Bruce Klein, VP of Federal Sales, and Phil Wright, Director, Brand ProtectionAs you may have read, the FBI has identified a number of unauthorized companies that have sold products with the Cisco trademark to various government agencies and other organizations. This is of major concern to us, and we wanted to take a moment to share the efforts we are taking to ensure only legitimate Cisco products end up in the hands of our loyal customers.Unfortunately, counterfeiting is not a new issue in the IT industry or indeed in any successful global enterprise. Because our customers expect and deserve the highest-level of satisfaction when purchasing Cisco products, we actively monitor the counterfeit market and have longstanding processes in place to address this challenge.As part of our commitment to the integrity and quality of Cisco technology and services, our Brand Protection team leads an aggressive, concerted and company-wide effort to prevent potential damage to our brand and to our customers as a result of counterfeiting. Because counterfeiting is a criminal activity, we work closely with law enforcement agencies worldwide whenever those agencies decide to take action against those who would profit by this illegal conduct. In this instance, Cisco has collaborated with the FBI and other Federal law enforcement, and we appreciate their hard work in this important area. We have participated in many aspects of the investigation, and have proactively briefed high-level individuals at multiple government agencies.So what can you do? We can’t stress enough the importance to Cisco customers and channel partners of procuring equipment only from Cisco authorized channels. If you have any questions or concerns I would recommend calling your Cisco representative or authorized reseller immediately.Again, we appreciate the hard work by the FBI in this case as well as the efforts by all law enforcement agencies in cracking down on the counterfeit market. This is a serious issue that we are diligently fighting every day to ensure our customers receive only genuine Cisco products.