HBR has a great article (I love HBR articles that get delivered to my email … small and crisp and full of information) on CISCO’s curious week – and how the giant has been playing around with Disruptive Innovation for quite some time. In a recent workshop I attended, I learnt that this is also called Paradigm Shift and it is well known that, paradigm shifts lead to leaders.
Cisco is not new to paradigm shifts. It originally started with usage of the Internet Protocol (IP). The giant has been making some pretty changes inside. Some of them as outlined in the article are:
Its purchase of linksys – an entry into the home router market. I think the Linksys routers are the best. I have one at home, and they are incredibly easy to configure.
Its purchase of WebEx seemed pretty logical to me. Networking giant + good conferencing company = Revenue.
It has also recently bought Pure Digital – which makes a popular line of flip handheld video cameras. (I have never heard of this one though!). But it is interesting to see the networking giant move into this market.
And ofcourse the biggest news of last week is CISCO trying to buy SUN, and enter the server market – directly getting face-to-face with IBM and HP and the likes.
But at a very high level, all this kinda makes sense to me.
(big router business) + (home routers) + (good video cameras for conferencing) + (good conferencing software) + (stable servers to handle the software) = Awesome $$.
The stable servers is probably a weak link in the above equation. But it is defenitely a good entry into a large revenue stream business. Here’s to CISCO, and lets hope they come out of this recession fine and dandy.
Note: I was in Silicon valley on a business visit in 2003, and going through some of the CISCO buildings near McCarthy Blvd/Tasman/Cisco way, and it was very disheartening to see some of the empty buildings (what was left of the DotComBust). But still CISCO lasted. And is surviving.