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Nothing But Net

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Nothing But Net

Business The Cisco Way


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Cisco Systems has many things to teach other businesses, including make the most of opportunities, buy the skills you need, listen to your paranoia and be obsessive about your customers (the biggest lesson of all).

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


David Stauffer’s impressive new book seeks to explain why Cisco is one of the world’s most important companies. At the heart of the book - and perhaps the company - is the management style of Cisco CEO John Chambers, who once worked for IBM and Wang. The book illustrates how Chambers noted the problems at both of his former employers and resolved that they would never show up at Cisco. The author also covers Cisco’s famed acquisition strategy, and explains how the company targets employees, rather than profits, in its acquisition sights. Although the author seems enamored with the company, it’s tough to argue with his main points, especially when he cites other companies, such as Oracle and Microsoft, that have replicated Cisco strategies. getAbstract recommends this definitive and entertaining book as an insightful look into a pivotal new-economy company, and the strategies that got it to where it is today.


The Right Company in the Right Business at the Right Time

If you want to learn from another company’s spectacular success, look at Cisco Systems, the company that drives the Internet. For many reasons, Cisco appears to be the right company in the right business at the right time, and it has always capitalized on its opportunities.

John Chambers is the head cheerleader for a Cisco team that appears unified and dedicated to the overarching goal of networking the world - forging communication links that can overcome seemingly intractable problems of ignorance and poverty. These principles give Cisco’s work its greatest meaning and can do the same for you:

  • Above all else, do what you love - Given today’s intense competition and continuous change, passion for your work is essential to achieving and sustaining success.
  • Know what you’re about and keep it always in sight - The first step toward achieving anything is formulating a clear statement of what you want. A mission, a vision and goals are essential raw materials in any recipe for corporate success.
  • Create and keep a winning culture - Your organization’s culture is the bedrock required for...

About the Author

David Stauffer  is a business writer who heads the corporate writing firm Stauffer Bury, Inc. His dozens of articles on business and management have appeared in Harvard Management Update, Across the Board, The Wall Street Journal and other business periodicals. He teaches business writing as an adjunct professor at Rocky Mountain College.

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