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Thomas Friedman Reconfirmed

March 2, 2007
at 12:00 pm PST

Wow, it’s March already. What the heck happened to January and February? And, as the old yarn tell us, March starts like a lion and ends like a lamb. And, if there was any doubt in anybody’s mind that we’re now in a global economy, one need look no further than what happened on Wednesday with the Chinese stock market that then had the ripple effect on the world markets.My out of work focus of late has been on one Mr. Jack Earnhardt. One month old this coming Monday. He’s going to live and grow up in a world very different from the one that we all live in today. With the collaborative tools that are being built and the solutions that are being offered and will be offered (over the network, of course) he’s going to be able to have experiences and opportunities that you and I could never dream of.And, I may be drinking the Kool-Aid here, but without Cisco and our gear, most of these experiences and opportunities would not and will not exist. Our new advertising tagline is about “The Human Network.” While I was at first skeptical about the ads (I’ll be honest, I didn’t fully understand what we were trying to accomplish), I have since come full circle and now think we are actually right on. Cisco is about connecting everyone, everwhere to everything. At its face, that sounds like a business proposition, but if you really think about it, it changes everything. There is an RSS feeder for this site. I think about the future of the human network as being able to subscribe to people (does that makes sense?). If Jack Earnhardt can access and collaborate with the best and the brightest as he grows and learns regardless if he is in Menlo Park or in Bangalore, then he is going to be playing at a much higher level than I or my wife ever could simply because we didn’t have the same “access.” Let me put it another way, I played tennis in high school and a few years in college. I always got better playing better players and losing, then playing weaker players and winning. Playing against someone better than yourself enables you to improve. In the future, through the Human Network, Jack and his peers will be able to collaborate and work with and learn from the best in the world, all over the world…making the world smaller and smaller and, as Friedman says, flatter and flatter. Because of this, the problems of today will slowly, but surely, disappear. Through collaboration on the network, we will live in a much better, safer world in the future than the one we live in today.

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