Charles Darwin once said, “I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.” This principle of evolution applies to business as well as to nature. Individuals, companies, and industries evolve and compete with one another in preparation for the future.
Back in 1998, a group of engineers decided to split from the mainstream and form a new company, Juniper Networks. That company has evolved to create and acquire many products over the last decade. While Darwin might have viewed this as an evolutionary step in products, we view it as a competitive step.
Humankind differs from the rest of the animal kingdom not only because our instincts go beyond the primal survival urge (a.k.a. Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”), but also because of our intellect and capacity to improve. When one group splits off from another, it does not necessarily sound the death knell for the original group. More likely, the two groups will start taking steps to outdo one another. In other words, they compete.
Those who are not directly involved in that competition can reap the benefits of the intellectual sparring. We have observed many such competitive moves within the routing industry over the years. Now, we are entering another such arena within the switching side of our industry.