Cisco systems were founded in December 1984 in California, by a husband and wife team from Stanford University, Leonard Bosack and Sandra Lerner. At Stanford, Bosack found a way to connect the two local area networks where he and his wife worked, 500 yards across campus.
! They initially tried to sell the inter networking technology that Bosack had developed to computer companies, but none were interested. With no buyers they decided top start their own company, Cisco Systems.
! Cisco’s primary product from the beginning was the inter networking router; a hardware device incorporating software that automatically selects the most effective route for data to flow between networks. Cisco thus became the first company to provide a multi-protocol router when it shipped its first product in 1986. One year later after initial start, Cisco was selling $250,000 worth of routers per month. Sales for the fiscal year ending July 1987 were 1.5 million, and the company had only eight employees at the time.
! In the beginning, Cisco marketed its routers to universities, research centers, the aerospace industry, and government facilities by contacting computer scientists and engineers via ARPANET. In 1988 the company began to target its internetworking routers to mainstream corporations with offices in multiple locations that used different networks.
! Cisco had a high rate of sales growth in the early years, however they were increasing in need of cash if they were going to continue to grow. Bosack and Lerner were forced to turn to a venture capitalist. They turned to Donald T. Valentine of Sequoia Capital, however, he required them to surrender to him and he took controlling stake in the company. Valentine brought in John Morgridge, as the company’s president and chief executive officer. In February 1990 under new leadership, Cisco went public, after which Bosack and Lerner...