14 4 / 2011
I had a great meeting at Pure Digital several years ago, prior to the merger. They were housed above a department store in San Francisco, in a weird funky space with lots of consumer atmosphere. The office was surrounded by restaurants and shops.
In contrast, visiting Cisco is like visiting a factory. Every building on their massive campus looks the same, with an abstract fountain out front, the walls painted in muted tans and other muddy colors. The buildings are surrounded by an ocean of cars. The lobbies are lined with plaques of the company’s patents, and the corridors inside have blown-up photographs of Cisco microprocessors. In the stairwells you’ll usually see a couple of crates of networking equipment, shoved under the stairs. And all of the cubicles look the same.
Cisco is an outstanding company, and an excellent place to work. But it screams respectable enterprise hardware supplier. To someone from a funky consumer company, going there would feel like having your heart ripped out and replaced with a brick."
Did bad architecture kill Flip?