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In the late 1990s, a little-known company called F5 Networks began to make a name for itself in the tech world. By 2001, it had become one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley, and its innovative products had turned it into a major player in the networking industry.
In 2003, F5 hit a major milestone when it went public, raising $272 million in one of the most successful IPOs of the year. The company was now worth over $1 billion, and its CEO, Johnathan McCormick, was being hailed as a visionary leader.
But all was not well at F5. Behind the scenes, McCormick was engaged in a battle with Cisco Systems, the networking giant that dominated the industry. Cisco was trying to crush F5 with aggressive pricing and fierce competition, and McCormick knew that he needed to find a way to level the playing field.
That’s when he came up with an audacious plan: he would buy an obscure telecom company called Who’s Calling and use its technology to build a new type of product that would go head-to-head with Cisco’s flagship offerings.
It was a risky bet, but it paid off handsomely. The new product, which F5 called BIG-IP, quickly became one of the company’s bestsellers. In just a few years, F5 had transformed itself from an also-ran into a serious threat to Cisco’s dominance. Today, BIG-IP is still one of F5’s core products and is used by thousands of organizations around the world, including many Fortune 500 companies.
The story of how F5 took on Cisco is a fascinating tale of business strategy and technological innovation. It’s also a reminder that even the biggest giants can be brought down by nimble startups that are willing to take risks and think outside the box.
How a who fooled Cisco
In just a few short years, the who arrangement has gone from a punchline to the de facto way that many in the tech industry get their internet infrastructure. The dominance of the who is so complete that it’s now become a target for those who seek to disrupt the status quo.
In 2014, a little-known startup called WhoWhat when public with an audacious plan to take on Cisco, the world’s largest maker of internet equipment. The company’s founder, WhoWhat When, had been kicked out of Cisco years earlier and he was on a mission to show the world that his new company could build better equipment at a fraction of the cost.
WhoWhat’s products were an instant hit with customers and within a few years, the company had taken over more than 50% of the market for internet equipment. This put it on a collision course with Cisco, which was determined to stop the WhoWhat juggernaut in its tracks.
In 2017, Cisco filed a lawsuit against WhoWhat alleging patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. The suit was widely seen as a desperation move by Cisco and it quickly became clear that WhoWhat had no intention of backing down.
The legal battle between Cisco and WhoWhat has been ongoing for more than two years now and there’s no end in sight. In the meantime, WhoWhat has continued to gain market share and is now firmly established as one of the top players in the tech world.
The take over of the tech world
In 1998, a little-known programmer named James Cannings decided to take on one of the biggest tech companies in the world: Cisco Systems.
Cannings created a fake computer virus that targeted Cisco routers, the devices that connect computers and networks. The virus, which Cannings called the “I Love You” virus, was designed to infect as many Cisco routers as possible and shut them down.
Cannings’s plan worked perfectly. The virus spread quickly and within days, it had taken down tens of thousands of Cisco routers. The chaos caused by the virus cost Cisco millions of dollars in damages and disrupted internet traffic around the world.
But Cannings’s prank didn’t just target Cisco Systems; it also exposed a major flaw in the way that the tech industry designs and builds its products.
The I Love You virus illustrated how vulnerable computer networks are to attack. It showed that even the most well-known and well- respected tech companies can be blindsided by new security threats. And it showed that our dependence on technology can have harmful consequences when things go wrong.
It’s been two weeks since the Who took over the tech world, and they’re still going strong. It’s been a wild ride, with plenty of twists and turns, but the Who have come out on top. How did they do it?
They started by fooling Cisco, the biggest player in the tech world. Cisco was so confident in its security that it didn’t even see the Who coming. Once the Who had control of Cisco, they used it as a launching point to take over other major tech companies.
The Who have been successful because they understand technology better than anyone else. They’ve been able to use that knowledge to their advantage, and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. It’s going to be interesting to see what they do next.