Book Reviews

The Upstart Startup: How Cerent Transformed Cisco by Rob Koslowsky

The end of the year seems like a good time for a book review about people who changed the landscape of Sonoma County, people who had amazing foresight about technology, and people who did not, would not, give up nor compromise their visions.

The Upstart Startup: How Cerent Transformed Cisco is a story about the people who comprised Cerent and how their beloved Cerent 454 revolutionized the telecommunications world. It’s a story that has drama, intrigue, and involved massive amounts of money that landed in California’s Sonoma County, one of the premiere wine-growing locales in the world. Sharing this story is a tribute to the 210 employees that were the lifeblood of Cerent before Cisco took over.

“The team at Cerent had this tenacity and unbelievable conviction in not just building a product but a platform for a successful and sustaining business. Rob’s book captures the innovation in every step and I benefited from the telling of the story too.”

—Ajaib Bhadare, Cerent co-founder    

“Rob brilliantly captures the drama of the Fiberlane experience.”

Raj Singh, co-founder and former president of Fiberlane Communications

Koslowsky.1Robert Koslowsky  spent more than 30 years in the high-technology field of optical fiber transmission systems and energy development. His degree in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba enabled him to work at large telecom manufacturers such as Nortel and Cisco and innovate with a number of startups including Cerent, Caeren Systems, e-Locate, and Cyan.

Rob’s early writings were based on personal experiences and historical non-fiction in the areas of science and technology. This work built upon his first book entitled A World Perspective through 21st Century Eyes (2004) and provides stimulating content for his monthly newsletter A World Perspective, now in its eleventh year of publication.

Rob served as an officer of the Redwood branch of the California Writers Club in the mid-2000s and has written numerous short stories, song lyrics, and poems. Breach of Trust–A Laura Paige Mystery (planned for future release), is his first novel.

Rob is a member of the IEEE and the Northern California Science Writers Association and he serves on the board of the University of Manitoba USA Foundation

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