John Chambers is an extraordinary leader. During his 25 years at Cisco, he took the business profitably from $1 billion, to over $49 billion in annual revenues. Not only is this one if the internet-era’s greatest success stories, but one which built much of the infrastructure of the modern internet. Today, John Chambers is the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures. Chambers focuses on helping disruptive start-ups from around the world build and scale, while also promoting the broader development of start-up nations and a start-up world. He invests in companies across categories and geographies that are leading market transitions, such as ASAPP, Aspire Food Group, Balbix, Bloom Energy, Cloudleaf, Denim, Lilac, OpenGov, ParkourSC, Pensando, Pindrop, Privoro, Quantum Metric, Rubrik, SAFE Security, SparkCognition, Sprinklr, Uniphore, and Virsec. Prior to founding JC2 Ventures in 2018, Chambers spent 25+ years with Cisco, serving as CEO, Chairman and Executive Chairman. He currently holds the title of Chairman Emeritus with the organization. With countless lessons learned during his tenure at Cisco and working with startups, Chambers wrote Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World in 2018, sharing his management, leadership, and business principles. Chambers is also the Chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and Global Ambassador of the French Tech, as appointed by President Emmanuel Macron of France. In this interview I speak to John Chambers, Former Chairman & CEO of Cisco & CEO of JC2 Ventures. John shares his learnings on leading one of the internet-era’s greatest growth journeys, how to spot market transitions and opportunities, his reflections on leading hundreds of acquisitions & investments, and what it takes to lead a scaling, global business.

Thought Economics

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