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Innovation: Turning Childhood Dreams into Today’s Reality

April 29, 2013 - 24 Comments

 “All grown-ups were once children –though few of them remember it.”

— Antoine de Saint Exupery, The Little Prince

Recently, I attended one of my favorite events – the EG conference in Monterey, California. Speakers ranged from musicians to rocket scientists to pickpockets and everything in between. Embracing the theme of “everything is learning, learning is everything,” the presenters encouraged us to embrace our inner child’s imagination and curiosity. Amanda Hill, CBO of BBC Earth was a particular inspiration. She reminded me of many things that we here at Cisco are striving to achieve, especially as we reimagine the Internet of Everything (IoE), a world in which everything is connected.

“Innovation is no more complicated than having that unique perspective.”

As children we looked not at the world’s limitations, but at the vast possibilities it had to offer.  When we grow up, many of us lose that wide-eyed wonder and see the world as a series of set rules. Innovation is as simple as going back to our childlike curiosity, forgetting the rules, and dreaming the impossible.

“If you’re going to dream, dream really big, because sometimes it is the easiest things to do.”

Too often we let the unlikeliness of our dreams, and the fear of what others may think, stand in the way of trying. To be innovative, to be happy, we must allow ourselves to dream in the most impossible ways; we must reawaken ourselves. The greatest things in our world today are those which yesterday’s people dreamed and made possible.

“Storytellers, not TV producers”

If a title limits you, change it. In order to reach the most viewers, BBC realized they couldn’t look at themselves as just TV producers, but as storytellers. Cisco has done the same. Cisco is more than just a technology vendor; the real story is about the amazing things that happen when you connect people, places, and things with the Internet of Everything.

As we go through our daily lives, we must remind ourselves to not let the everyday jade us. Get into the habit of looking around with child-like perspective. At   Cisco, we imagine the Internet of Everything where the possible connections between people, places, processes, and things are unlimited. My question to you is this:  if you were a kid, what would you like to see connected by the Internet of Everything?

Cisco_dream-big2 (3)

Follow Marie on twitter @MarieHattar and tweet your answers with #IoE

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  1. Beutiful post!!!Great memories!

  2. All grown-ups were once children –though few of them remember it. – Great Quote I ever read

  3. very nice,, I have to learn from this.

  4. Imagination is really a nice gift which has been given by god ,,,,this post gives a way for imagination of new things,nice post

  5. Connecting to the other kids that didn’t toys but collectively we could enjoy the ones we had together.

    Connecting to the parents that were nearby that could take us home when another parent was stuck or late.

    Connecting the airbrush to the knowledge that lets you learn how to use it.

    Connecting the bicycle to the videos that show you how to fix tha broken chain.

    Connecting the you and the skateboard to someone near-by that can show you how to dropin.

    But really, connecting all the friends I lost when they moved away. I still haven’t found them all.

  6. I love the quotation Marie! My children seem to think everything already is connected and are surprised when it isn’t – it’s especially obvious on long car journeys!

  7. And here I am suing a broadband connection with a limited usage plan. I want it to be unlimited so that I can do much more creative things over the internet. Hopefully over the years, Internet of Everything takes place so that we can do many things which we are not able to do because of limitations.

  8. The simplicity of the message makes this a truly exceptional post, thanks Marie.
    PS Without doubt, The Secret Garden is and always will be my favorite bit of literature.

  9. Hey I just loved that book as a boy too. Going to have to pull it out again. Er wait, no, it’s on my kindle!

  10. @ Matt

    Best story of the day. The wife is going to love that. Think we’ll go to the park this weekend! 😉

  11. I love “Le Petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupery. The quotation is sadly true.

    One happy counter-example however – my brother was recently swinging his daughter in the park. He heard a passerby shout over to him: “I still remember my dad pushing me in our swing when I was a little girl! They don’t forget.”

    The passerby was 88 years old.

  12. Really nice read.

  13. We see today some of it, home consoles and mobile devices, which make large toy population. But building stuff toys like Lego, wood block toys and sharing remote controls and coding still mostly unused, not that this does not exist, but sometimes are expensive and not available in too many places.

    Imagine some collaboration stimulus with group of friends building a project together, be it an app, be it plane model. That is what join fun, human interaction and prepare children for adult collaboration jobs.

  14. No more landlines, let satellites reach the entire earth and provide total connectivity. No more area codes, roaming, or lack of Internet providers.

  15. Emotions! If you could transfer your emotions through the Internet with a single touch… adding a new level to people connectivity.

    • If I were kid again, I am not so sure I would want to feel my parents’ emotions when I was in trouble!

    • nice post..a lot of things to imagine…transfer the emotions through internet could be really great..

  16. 1- I always wanted to be connetced with my parents during tought time in school, imagin when you have extremely difficult exam and no one better your parents can`t make you calm…

    2- You have some friends in school and some times you are not allowed to sit close to them, i love to be conneted with them.. so we could share lovely moments in school.

    3-If i had this chance to play with my toys from school that was awesome, imagine if you could control and see your toys via any portable devices.


  17. The innovative people are the ones that cherish and protect the child in themselves. The majority of older people have lost contact to the child in themselves, for many companies that are today looking at the capabilities of taping into these resources give themselves and also there older staff more stable perspectives.

  18. Kids shouldn’t wait… And my idea is that the bandwidth limitation is removed. So that they don’t have to wait either for an entertainment movie/clip/episode, or for an eductional purposes… “But this would also effect the internet’s global speed” yes but after a year or so, everyone will have their storage devices full 🙂
    “But what about hacking and ddos attacks”, this can be stopped by suspending the attacker’s public ipv6 for a period of time…
    This idea needs alot of thinking… You need to relise that this idea would be helpful for both kids and adults.

  19. Imagine a connection to the after life, IM with our ancestors and loved ones who have passed.

  20. I would love for the pantry contents to be electronically tagged with quantity levels so I can check them when I’m out grocery shopping.