Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Cisco Does Doobies–So What's Next in the Consumer Space?

Yesterday, BoomTown made a brief stop at what felt like an underground bunker in a hotel in San Francisco to see the Doobie Brothers.

Yes, the legendary band of indelible hit songs such as “Black Water” and “China Grove” and misspent youth way, way back in the day.

Except the group, which was founded in San Jose, Calif., in 1970, was performing at a Cisco (CSCO) television studio down south in Silicon Valley to launch its first album in a decade, called “World Gone Crazy.”

Cisco–founded in San Jose too, but in 1984–put on a 90-minute concert by the Doobie Brothers that was broadcast to 11 U.S. cities, helped by AT&T (T) and Marriott (MAR).

It was an odd event, because we were watching a concert on a big screen in what felt like a place more suited for a corporate retreat.

Still, in its ongoing attempt to push its telepresence technology into the consumer space, such a thing has become more typical for Cisco.

That’s why it will be interesting to see what the tech giant will announce at an event it is having on October 6.

The invite reads: “Come see a new Cisco consumer experience at an exclusive media event, hosted by Chairman and CEO John Chambers.”

What could the new consumer product be?

Perhaps Cisco has built its own version of Apple (AAPL) TV. Or perhaps a consumer-aimed home version of telepresence?

Until we all find out, here is a short video I did at the event yesterday:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald