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Cisco @ CES and Bill Gates Last Day at Microsoft

Cisco at the Consumer Electronics Show? What? You guys aren’t a consumer company. To be sure, we have largely been an enterprise and service provider company…with other foci on small and medium business (or commercial) and now a new foray into the consumer space. You may not know it, but we may already be in your living room in the form of our Scientific Atlanta cable set-top boxes or our Linksys wireless routers. A full line-up of what we announced at CES and what we are starting to do in the consumer space can be found at our CES online press kit here. You can also listen to our VP of consumer marketing, Ken Wirt, talk about the concept of visual networking on this podcast.We know we are nascent to the consumer space and we have to work as hard to understand and serve the consumer as hard as we work to understand and serve the enterprise or service provider. But one thing we can recognize is a good video. So, I have to give major props to Bill Gates and the Microsoft team for this great video of Gates preparing for his last days at Microsoft as shown at the CES show. Gates is very funny in this and obviously a great sport to do this video. The video features such luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Bono, Jay-Z, George Clooney, Jon Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Brian Williams…and a special cameo by “The Clapper.” Godspeed, Bill Gates.

Pew Research: Big Increase in Video on Web

The Pew Internet & American Life Project just released a study saying that 48% of internet users have been to video-sharing sites such as YouTube and that typical daily traffic has doubled in the past year. You can read the full report here.The report states: “48% of internet users said they had ever visited a video-sharing site such as YouTube. A year ago, in December 2006, 33% of internet users said they had ever visited such sites. That represents growth of more than 45% year-to-year.”The Cisco PR team has been experimenting with video blogging and we utilize YouTube as our platform…heck, you may have missed this video of our CEO John Chambers saying that “video is the next killer application on the Internet.” Confirmed again, of course, by Pew. : ) You can view all our videos on YouTube at You can view Chambers talking about video below (from our Financial Analysts Conference in September)

Which CEO said: “The customer is not our highest priority”

In the spirit of the U.S. Presidential campaign season where candidates must differentiate themselves from other candidates…and, on occasion, unfortunately, “go negative” to highlight what they believe voters should know about their opponents, I offer you this Q&A with Juniper CEO Scott Kriens by Mark Boslet of the San Jose Mercury News.Kriens states the following: “The highest priority for the company is our own employees. By contrast, we don’t say it is the customer or it’s the investor. If we make a priority out of making employees successful – the deal in return is that we get a commitment to reach the objectives that are the responsibility of that person.”Correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t have any employees if you don’t have customers or investors, right? Juniper is a good company and has been a good competitor to Cisco, but I think their CEO may have misspoken a bit here. At Cisco, we know that we don’t (as employees) exist without customers, which is why they are our top priority. Employees and Shareholders round out our top three most important constituents, but customers are definitely #1. This is why our bonuses are based on customer satisfaction. Read More »

2008 Technology Predictions…or Resolutions…or Whatever…

There is an interesting column in the Wall Street Journal today about Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” 25-years later. The columnist, Jason Fry, remembered seeing the movie as a young teenager and compared it to seeing the new “final cut” version now, even commenting on what technology was envisioned in the movie in 1982…for the year 2019, when the movie was set. Last year, when Pew Internet Project put out their predictions for the internet in 2020, I also harkened back to the Blade Runner in a blog post.Twenty-five years is a long time in technology years, so who knows what is going to happen in the year 2032, but I’m going to attempt some technology predictions (or resolutions…or hopes) for next year. 1. Cell phones and credit cards will finally merge. Sure, the technology is already here for this, but why are we still carrying around a sheet of plastic to make purchases? As Chevy Chase as Fletch as Gordon Liddy once said, “it’s all ball bearings nowadays.”2. The U.S. will institute a national broadband policy. After listening to Michael Krasny interview John Kao on his book “Innovation Nation,” it looks like the time is finally here to get a national broadband plan together. Or, as Will Farrell as Ricky Bobby once said, “if you ain’t first, yer last.” Read More »

Home For the Holidays…Virtually with Cisco TelePresence

Having already been to North Carolina three times this year to show off our new son, Jack…and, now that he is an active, crawling, exploring, fidgety, creeping, one-man wrecking crew 10 month old…we thought it prudent to skip the cross-country flight this holiday season. Jack did, however, want to see his Earnhardt Grandpma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc…all of whom (most of whom) are still in North Carolina. Last year, this would have been a quandary…this year, however, we all got together via TelePresence. Jack, my wife and I were in San Jose…our Earnhardt parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins were in Raleigh, NC…a mere 2800 miles away. Cisco set up a program called “Home for the Holidays” to have Cisco families use our Telepresence systems to “see” loved ones that they ordinarily would have missed this holiday season…as you can see from the pictures, all the Earnhardts were/are very appreciative on both ends of the system. These “virtual” visits (which are high-definition and life-size) will come to be fairly common in the years to come as more and more systems are set up (possibly in retail for rentals) and then in three or more years in the home. And, we’re told, at some point, they will be holographic visits and you’ll feel that much more Obi-Wan Kenobi. Read More »