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We’re More Powerful Together, Than Apart

November 5, 2010 - 7 Comments

We launched our Connected Life Exchange blog yesterday that’s focused on sharing interesting stories. I’ve anticipated this day for three years. I’m eager to work on this project, along with a talented group of creative people.

I remember the very first time that I saw the original Cisco “Human Network” television commercial. Why? It marked the beginning of a journey that ultimately brought me here — as a member of the Cisco family.

On Monday, April 30, 2007. I was a self-employed, independent industry analyst and marketing consultant. I needed a topic to write about that day, for my own blog.

I’d previously commented — three times — on the Human Network microsite (no longer available, btw), and I wrote a prescient post entitled “Re-Imagine Cisco: the Human Network Voice.” Yes, the Tom Peters’ then current book was my inspiration.

Clearly, if the company’s objective was to get Cisco stakeholders involved in a dialogue about the Human Network, then consider it mission-accomplished. I was hooked. I felt compelled to engage and share my thoughts.

My interest was piqued again when Cisco announced the Connected Life Contest – and they invited the public to share their ideas. Well, I figured, what an incredible opportunity for me to contribute to their fun project, one more time…

Collectively Designing a Connected Life

The next chapter of my story starts on Friday, September 14, 2007. Having submitted my idea to Cisco, I wrote yet another blog post. This time, I shared my appreciation for the concept of Crowdsourcing – but back then Cisco was using the term “Open Innovation” to describe this phenomenon.

I recall, as a result of my commentary, I had brief email exchanges with a few Cisco employees about my concept. I was just beginning to experiment with creating video, and over the course of a weekend I was able to recap my idea in one-minute of imagery.


Shortly thereafter, a Cisco recruiter reached out to me. Would I be interested in joining Cisco? I think you can already guess what happened next – several discussions, including some virtual interviews with hiring managers in San Jose via Cisco TelePresence [I’m based in Austin, Texas].

Now an employee — I joined the Cisco team in October, 2007.

Creative collaboration has been instrumental to my journey of discovery at Cisco. And, as a storytelling practitioner, I’m drawn to compelling content that expands my thinking, and helps me “connect the dots.” In fact, the Connected Life Exchange will apply that same Cisco corporate culture attribute of inclusion.

On Monday I’ll introduce you to one of several contributing columnists, from outside the company, who together — will join me on this storytelling adventure.

>>More… Connected Life Exchange

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  1. @Robert, I'll contact you via email, to learn more about your book. Cheers, David

  2. Hi David, I read your article and I can use the story for a book I am writing about crowdsourcing for a Dutch publisher. Please contact me at [email removed]

  3. Thank you, David. Very helpful.

  4. Melissa, I could answer your question by anticipating several different outcomes, but knowing that I'll be sharing more related insight in upcoming posts -- I'll simply offer this aspirational point of view. I hope that we can raise the awareness of the essential role of ongoing telecom infrastructure investment that enables communities to both participate and prosper in the global networked economy. I believe that, together, we can explore creative ways to apply that infrastructure for the benefit of humanity. One path that can lead us to meaningful new discoveries is to gain a full appreciation of the lessons learned from past accomplishments. Moreover, for those people not directly involved in our industry, this topic can appear to be either very complex, or incredibly dull (often times it's both). Can we make this subject enlightening and engaging? We'll let our blog visitor be the judge. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  5. David, from your point of view, what do you hope we can gain by raising these discussions? Taking a look at the network and its role in enabling the Human Network, The Connected Life, etc, seems imperative as we consider the future. Am interesting in your point-of-view. I asked a similar question of Steven Shepard (

  6. @Tom, I appreciate you taking the time to comment and share your thoughts on the Human Network effect. Thank you.

  7. You have a very inspiring journey in Cisco. I am sure that Cisco is one of the best place to work with. That "Human Network" concept is a revolutionary one as it paved the way for the company to finally get connected with the very people it all aspires to be working for...