Is Cisco Cool?
I was at the Web 2.0 Conference and Expo earlier this week and a friend and colleague from another company arranged a gathering of PR folks at a bar and nicely invited me. The e-mail said, “We are gathering the PR tribe at SF House of Shields at 6 PM — Twitter, Facebook, Skype, Zynga, Tesla types…you know cool companies….”
My response was: “I thought being profitable was cool.”
I knew what he was talking about…and he knew what I was talking about. It made me think, however. Is Cisco cool? And, does it matter?
Most of these companies would not exist if Cisco didn’t exist…or Cisco-like companies. So, I think “relevant” would be a better barometer here. To steal from an old Lucent commercial: “We make the things that make communications work.” Most of these companies are services over the infrastructure largely built by Cisco customers with Cisco equipment. Does that make us cool, however? Don’t know…and increasingly, I’m not sure if I care.
I used to think it mattered if a company was “cool.” After all, I work in PR and a “cool” factor can certainly get you media coverage that outweighs your business impact. We are a technology company. We focus on listening to our customers, making great technology and innovating the next, best, new technology or upgrade. We are recognized for being a great employer, a green company, and a socially aware company. We are also profitable. We also, by the way, (among other products) have great routing and switching products that everyone needs, great TelePresence products that make meetings better and reduces travel, great consumer products that capture and share great video or makes home networking easy and great personal or company conferencing products that allow people to easily collaborate.
So, if company that makes your life easier and your work more productive isn’t cool…does “cool” matter?