Cisco Blogs

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?

The Fonz

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?

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  1. Is being ‘cool’ a good thing? Sometimes you have to make tough decisions as a business. I would hate to make those decisions wondering if it maintains my ‘cool’ image

  2. Ever been to a High School reunion and saw what happened to the kids you once thought were cool?!? I would call Cisco confident!

  3. Of course Cisco is cool!

  4. Cisco plays a vital role in the exchange of communications,we can wonder if companies like Cisco would not have been here,then had we succeeded in getting the results so fast and accuratley?…Cisco is one of the biggest players in the IT business…it’s cool!

  5. Cisco is the place to be. Cool, or I would say, Cool enough to freeze those companies behind still.

  6. I think being cool is a very subjective term, and I personally don’t find CISCO as cool as they used to be back in the days of old school and CCNA exams.

  7. Is Cisco cool? I dare you to watch this vid on the future of shopping and tell me no. With no network the tweets become postcards and there would be no Facebook or Foursquare or any other sockpuppet 2.0 websites. Is cool the freeloading uncle who comes to your party, eats the last piece of pizza and spills wine on the carpet while holding forth on #fail and other trendy topics or is cool the industrious brother who while quiet and reserved at the party helped you build the deck and manned the grill and then stuck around to help clean up afterwards? Seems pretty clear cut to me…

  8. Well, I don’t think we are cool today. Too many corporate jargon on our web, in our presentation, in our talk. Too much shirt and tie approach, products are very solid but nothing really ground-shaking. Facebook ?groundbreaking. Twitter – revolution. Basecamp ? Super fast and cool.

  9. Well if most of those companies mentioned was created through Cisco, then Cisco isn’t just cool – it’s the best!

  10. Well it depends. To deveolpers on internet cisco is the coolest kid around the block, but to all the others, they are just some company who doesnt give us anything. wich is completely wrong.Cisco is the base of coolness”” because without it non of the other would be cool :P”

  11. Cisco is not cool. It’s not really supposed to be. It’s kinda out of scope.A lot of people… Pretty much everyone has no clue what is that Cisco actually does. Networking is not exactly a common knowledge. Cisco is among those who provide foundation. In other words – We make bricks. Are bricks cool?another way looking at it is Just cause people wanna eat the burger doesn’t mean they wanna meet the cow””. Cisco is a cow. Nothing wrong with it. p.s.I’m a cisco employee.”

  12. Cisco Systems has got to be one of the best places to work. There is no question that they are innovators in technology, but the value they place on their people and ability to manage to ever changing trends in IT has to be commended.

  13. Cisco could well be cool.I love it when companies become cool without trying. For instance blackberry targetted business people with their phones however last Christmas almost every teenager I know had one on their Christmas list instead of an iphone!

  14. I think Cisco is the coolest. What I would love to see is Cisco launch a truly business focused alternative to the Kindle and ipad!!

  15. You know the cool thing about Cisco? In the last couple of years I have met three different Cisco employees in separate groups of people. I distinctly remember how each employee raved about where they work. There seemed to be a culture of people that enjoyed their work (crazy right?. It was uncanny how as soon as I asked someone what they did, they all mentioned that they work at Cisco before they told me their title or what there responsibility was. They explained that it’s not that they don’t work hard, on the contrary, it’s that the the collaboration of colleagues and flexibility when needed were part of the atmosphere. A common goal, what a novel way to run a company.

  16. I think Cisco is cool among us geeks, but the vast majority of people have no clue what it is. Upon reading Cisco,”” I think most people think of a certain hydrogenated vegetable shortening, not network tools. :)”

  17. So, if company that makes your life easier and your work more productive isn’t cool…does “cool” matter?””John, being cool doesn’t matter – but to a gathering of PR folks at a Web 2.0 conference it probably does 🙂 You don’t wanna be missing out on too many free bars. Glad to hear you got invited anyway!”

  18. Cisco are definetly cool as far as networking giant’s go! I guess you could compare them a lot to Google in the sense that as a huge and global company they are still able to retain a good and maybe even ‘cool’ image.

  19. “relevant” yes. but you’re right, maybe not cool. It’s hip to be square though… and I think Cisco is doing well in many other departments too.

  20. I think anyone who understand the tech industry or uses Cisco products knows that Cisco is pretty cool

  21. Cool? Yes if cool means turning a profit for shareholders and bringing cutting edge technology to the masses.

  22. 24 Episodes showing video calls from CTU to White house and vice versa is way too awesome. I read somewhere too that they are green company too well, that’s too cool to handle. Need I say more?

  23. Cisco isn’t cool today. It may have been years ago when internet speed was gained by way of moving to v.32. Thankfully companies don’t need to be cool in order to be profitable.

  24. It’s interesting you have Fonzie pictured on the blog asking if Cisco is cool””. To answer your question, No not really. However, 36 years after Fonzie is 60+ years old. How cool would it be to see him hit on young girls. Ummm kind of creepy. Conversely look at Warren Buffet, he’s been around longer and never really be considered the “”cool”” person; however, he is still here and still well respected. I’ll take long term respect and trust any day over today’s “”cool”””^0^1^^^0^0
    30907^7691^Ellen S.^^^^2010-08-02 23:59:16^2010-08-02 23:59:16^”I think most people would agree that saving money is something “easier said than done”. Personally, I believe it’s a mind-set that needs to be developed by creating good money-saving habits. Here are some things I’ve done to help change my spending habits: – Cook more at home ( Eating out is very expensive especially if you do it a couple times a week – Try shopping online ( You can find better deals than in the store and you save on gas (I recommend HYPERLINK“” – Pay the full balance on credit cards each month ( Interest charge is like giving away free money – Don’t forget to pay yourself ( Set up an online savings account (they pay higher interest than a normal savings account) – Set a budget and goals ( It’s good to have your goals written down so you see them everyday and don’t lose focus on your ultimate objectivesAgain, saving money requires a lot of patience and hard work. However, you’ll thank yourself later on in life. Good luck everyone!! =)”

  25. I agree! Cisco is absolutely cool. No doubt.

  26. yeah! I agree that cisco is cool!

  27. Cisco rocks in so many ways – webinars etc

  28. Yeah theres a big difference between being successful and being cool, not many companies manage to pull off both.

  29. Cisco is cool because all the gadget made from Cisco is great…..

  30. I would never think of Cisco as cool.”” That’s not always a bad thing. I have friends who aren’t cool! I do have respect for Cisco though. They provide great products and some thing I never knew until recently. I would rather own a cool business than a non-cool business though!”

  31. You had me with the Fonze!

  32. Cisco cool? Doubt it. Coolness is derived from the products and services organisations offer and produce. Apple, Google, Twitter are typical examples. Cisco network products may be popular (or at least they are marketed well) but cool? A router? A switch? C’mon….

  33. Making all this technology available to us makes Cisco pretty cool. It is cool to bring innovation in people lives!

  34. @ BradInteresting point, and I have to say I agree. Like so many other things today, if you aren’t changing to meet the times you will get left behind.

  35. i believe you need the cool factor to attract talent.

  36. Remember, the fonz was only cool until he jumped the shark 🙂

  37. Hi John,I remember attending a hip evening gathering”” in May 2005 at a very trendy bar in downtown Toronto, Canada sponsored by the “”cool folks”” of Expedia.comIt didn’t take me too long to figure out that NOT a single “”cool person”” from gave a “”hoot”” about the issues facing the hotel industry.Yet the hotel industry has been taken prisoner by Expedia.comSo I guess if you can create the “”aura of coolness,”” it helps disarm folks.Sincerely, Brad Reese”

  38. Cisco is definitely cool, and being cool has nothing to do with popular opinion. In fact by the time something has hit the masses it is most likely totally uncool haha…

  39. John, I don’t really care but i love Mr Fonzarelly picture on you post !

  40. yes it’s cool because it thinks forward, it is in 24, and Cisco communication is cool with lots of videos, and with so much videos of John Chambers and other top executives, it seems that they are close to us.

  41. Is fantastic ice coctail cool? Yes. Is tap water cool? No. Is plumbing cool? No.Let’s face the reality: we provide the infrastructure for the cool stuff. We can be proud, we can be professional, we can be experts in what we do, we can be the best there is, but we’ll never be cool like we were 15 years ago. So what? Why do you care?

  42. I think Cisco isn’t just cool it’s AWESOME. Just being alive itself, Cisco can make others to communicate,Cisco systems is a great company,

  43. i believe you need the cool factor to attract talent. otherwise you will not be able to keep your products leading edge (unless you buy).google. facebook. twitter. skype etc

  44. Cisco is cool because it provides a way-cool place for tens of thousands of very smart people to work. The benefits are great, not the least of which is providing us with so many collaborative tools that help us optimize work-life balance. Plus, we get to change the way the world works, lives, plays, and learns!

  45. I agree with all the comments regarding how cool cisco really is. All our main infrastructure has been built from the ground up on cisco servers. we tried other equipment but the support was lacking. Being an organisation that primarily deals with the best HVAC systems, we needed reliability and being COOL is a necessity for us. Thumbs up for Cisco

  46. I agree, Cisco has been one of the foundation in Technology

  47. Yeah Cisco is cool. I think you guys get social media pretty well in fact. A friend of mine complained about one of your VOIP phones in a discussion board. A few days later someone from Cisco reached out asking for feedback from him via the forum private messaging system.Pretty cool.

  48. Technology really matters to us as we knew what benefit it give but in real world it don’t get much value. In some sense we can compare Cisco or similar type of industry to script writer or producer who usually known when they are nominated for an award else the player who play as per their direction actually are face for general people but the good thing is, that never force Director or script writer give up because they know how valuable they are. Thank you Cisco for securing us.

  49. When it comes to a company being seen as ‘Cool’, I think media focus on being a ‘great employer’ is definately a big factor. To have a ‘great employer’ hits most of us at a gut level and when someone has something nice that we want it quickly transcends to ‘cool’.

  50. It’s subjective right? You may think your workplace is cool, but the guy in the next partition might have a different viewpoint. I think Apple is cool. Twitter seems to be cool. Facebook, well, has it become too big and popular to stay cool? Merck isn’t cool, GE isn’t cool, Bank of America is very uncool and BP are horribly uncool.It’s all personal opinion..but if you think Cisco is cool, then it’s all good….they’ve always made rock-solid products.

  51. If America runs on Dunkin, then the world runs on Cisco!

  52. Cisco has definitely been a driving force for good in the industry.

  53. CISCO is cool and helped most people withstand and adjust ever growing technology. It’s super cool!!

  54. Yes, CISCO is cool. CISCO exist before Twitter, Facebook and other companies. But i think it’s cooler to be profitable, then to be well known.

  55. Cisco is a great company, very good ideas and innovations, certainly makes my life easier and therfore i think is cool.

  56. I think Cisco isn’t just cool it’s AWESOME. Just being alive itself, Cisco can make others to communicate. 🙂 Cool isn’t it?”

  57. I work in one of the best datacentre in Europe and we use only CISCO technologies. I think that not only but also thanks to CISCO, the reputation of our DC is very high!

  58. Ha, I think Cisco is cool. TV shows like 24 often plug Cisco systems when CTU makes video calls to the Whitehouse and the like. Also, the Cisco VOIP phone ringtone became famous after Season 1 of 24, and many a Jack Bauer afficionado, myself included touted cell phones with the distinctive ring. So in short, yes!

  59. I agree Cisco really cool! We are using Cisco Webex for having a conference with our group, in having webseminar. Cisco is good, i am very impressed about their products.

  60. It´s cool in some way, as it is green according Greenpeace measures, and today beying green is very cool.

  61. Cisco exists at a foundational layer well below the cool”” companies… Nobody really cares about the technology behind the rocket boosters that power the space shuttle – it’s the wonder of the end result that’s “”cool””. My parents don’t have a clue what routing and switching products do, but they ‘get’ Facebook.So, to us technical people working in this foundational layer, Cisco is uber-cool. To everybody else, well.. they’re partying. ;)”