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PC World’s 50 Most Important People on the Web

March 7, 2007
at 12:00 pm PST

Many of you have likely already seen PC World’s 50 Most Important People on the Web” article that came out this Monday. I just came across it thanks to the Fake Steve Jobs blog, which is back online after a brief hiatus. Lists always leave someone out who think they should be on it. “Am I on the list?” “Did I make the list?” “Who’s on the list?” My comment on the PC World list is this: (And, yes, this is Sour Grapes 101)…Cisco is not on the list that is self-entitled, “Here’s who’s shaping what you read, watch, hear, write, buy, sell, befriend, flame, and otherwise do online.” To be sure, this list is focused on social media and web policy, etc. However, the list says it includes what you “otherwise do online”…i.e. what enables your online experience.IMHO, I would argue that it is Cisco gear that is enabling all of this interaction and social media to take place. (Of course, we are not service providers, but our gear enables service providers (cable, telecom, etc.) to give the world “dial-tone” to the internet.) Fake Steve Jobs blogs sub-head says, “Dude, I invented the frigging iPod. Have you heard of it?” I think the sub-head of this blog should be “We invented the friggin network router. Have you heard of it?”In bandwidth (i.e. enabling ALL of this social media and activity to take place), Cisco has the CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, the world’s highest capacity Internet router, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. The CRS-1 can carry up to 92 terabits per second. That’s enough bandwidth to support the world population of 6.4 billion people on a simultaneous IP phone call; or a billion people playing an online game using real-time voice and chat features, among many other “otherwise online” things.Please disagree with me if you must, but the network is the platform for all of “what you read, watch, hear, write, buy, sell, befriend, flame, and otherwise do online.” And, I’m not even mentioning the business processes that get streamlined that make us all more efficient and productive…or the IP technology that enables IM’s, IP calling, video and data transfer at all levels, etc. Are we enablers? Yes we are. And proud of it.So, all due respect to Perez Hilton and the other distinguished “most important” ladies and gentleman on the web on this list, but to suggest that he or they are more important than any engineer (or executive or employee) at Cisco is missing the mark. Again, sour grapes, but someone has to say it.

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3 Comments.


  1. Cisco didnt invent the router per say. Bill Yeager invented the first router, we just paid him royalties and improved what he did. So we kind of invented”” it.”

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  2. I think most people can tell you who invented the telephone. Does anyone remember who invented the dial tone?

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  3. I don’t disagree, entirely. I just think Cisco has competitors that offer similar network features today. Cisco may have created the first routers, but now anyone with a PC can build a router. Does anyone who builds a router out of a PC and route network traffic deserve the respect we demand? I mean, today I can build just about anything with common free open source technologies, just add hardware.IMO, Cisco is like IBM. IBM brought us the PC, but today they promote collaboration and open technologies to help us build a better cheaper PC than IBM could have ever built for us on their own. If Cisco could promote wider adoption of faster broadband and wireless technologies, if Cisco could lean on the governments, schools and businesses to help Cisco help them build a solid network that truely reaches everyone everywhere, then on top of that network they could build open source services that maximize the potential of our hardware while providing something more noticable to the end user than the fact that their calls always get through, such as 802.11 cell phones that automatically switch between any cell carrier and VOIP dhcp wireless without call interruption, have local channels for messaging, local shopping services, etc.Its hard to have an internet economy when only a few people get access. Free wireless broadband for everyone would go a long way. Reliable and open services would go a long way. Access is important. Google is already working to build it in places, but I think Cisco has the tech to do it right, if only they want to nearly give it away now, before some Linux hackers with cheap mesh tech and their PCs beat you to it..In the end, who wins? The guy with the most money? Or the guy who brought you free wireless broadband and improved your whole economy? I don’t know, I just want more bandwidth. 10Mb is barely enough. 100Mb was designed for video. Who deserves the thanks for the current state of internet video today? Back in ’98 I remember watching multicast video streaming over 100Mb corporate nets in mpeg-2 at DVD resolutions. Today, instead of bringing that technology to the masses, they get 10Mb lines capped at 6.4Mb down, 256Kb up, and they manage to get around this bandwidth starvation scheme by developing better compression and peer to peer apps that frighten anyone concerned about their data. These technologies would probably have existed anyway, but their adoption might have been prolonged by less bandwidth starvation, IMO. The next wave of open source tech might prevent lawful enforcement without banning all use. I am concerned that the internet will become more hostile over time if the current trends of business first, consumer second don’t ackowledge the fact that we are all just people dealing with obsolete technology on a daily basis. Nothing is perfect, and the only way to remedy the situation is to just do it. Money, politics, and law are just standing in the way of real progress, the type I believe Cisco wants to make, progress in human interaction.I believe its important for business to be paid for the services they provide, and its important for artists to be paid for their creations. But is it so important to make everyone pay that we forget about the additional costs we impose on them? Imagine a service that required you to enter your credit card info for each song you wanted to hear, and then interrupted you every minute in a stream to request payment for bandwidth usage? I can, because I know how much people want to get paid. But I also know how much each and every person’s time is worth. The best thing to do is make payment as efficient and simple as possible for the end user, while offering the most open and compatible service everywhere, again, IMO.Business is good for business, but being open is so much better for the consumer. That’s why we see a lot of those people on the list, its not that they offer the best products, they offer the best ideas. If Cisco can offer this idea to the world and help it share and cooperate its way to universal access, Cisco would deserve more than just recognition for their technology, they would deserve recognition for their humanity. And I just think that would be hard to compete with.

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