Cisco water cooler gossip: Will the global CCIE count predict the future of world power?

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Leading Men
Robert X. Cringely - the famous Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) weekly columnist whose Web site describes him as a sex symbol, airplane enthusiast and intrepid adventurer (the nerdiest of them all?), has authored a very provocative column regarding CCIEs and how their numbers and geographic locations could become key indicators to help economists predict which countries in the future hold the most promise for becoming technology leaders. In his column, Leading Men: Cisco engineering units are the emerging measure of global power, Cringely credits his friend and dual CCIE George Morton, as originating the idea to use the number of CCIEs within a country to predict who will be the technology leaders of the future. He also links to this blog by yours truly which Cringely says "inspired this rant".

Robert X. Cringely
Cringely writes: " ... divide the number of CCIEs into each country's population, then do the same for each country's Gross Domestic Product and correct for widely varying populations and states of economic development ... It is logical to assume that nations with adjusted numbers that exceed those of the U.S. for CCIEs per 100K are Internet up-and-comers and ought to fare well in the decades ahead." He adds that "Beyond the population statistic, countries that have significantly less GDP per CCIE are those that would seem to have made networking a national priority. Countries that are significantly behind the U.S. on one measure or another are just that -- behind the U.S. -- which is not good."

Cringely then goes on to compare India with China, and Japan with South Korea. India has 0.036 CCIEs per 100K to China's 0.22 per 100K -- a 7X differential -- while India has $10 billion in GDP per CCIE to China's $3.3 billion, he notes. He adds: "There is no doubt that there is plenty of network expertise in India, but these numbers show that expertise isn't making it out of the technology centers to the rest of the country. China, on the other hand, is developing its IT infrastructure much more broadly. This also doesn't take into account the simply huge numbers coming out of Hong Kong, where there are 3.3 CCIEs per 100K and $1.13 billion in GDP per CCIE -- numbers that might properly be added to the rest of China in some accounts. "Japan has 1.23 CCIEs per 100K to South Korea's 1.9, but the significant difference between these two countries is the $4 billion per CCIE in GDP for Japan compared to $1.28 billion in South Korea, which is clearly investing massively in network infrastructure." He concludes: "Looking 30 years into the future I think it is clear that the regional leaders will be China and Korea, NOT India and Japan." A reader of Cringely's column, Internet Consultant Sam Zenner, created a fascinating interactive chart of the number of CCIEs per 100K capita. CCIE per capita: Overview of the number of Cisco CCIEs per capita for over a 100 countries To access the below chart in an interactive format, visit the Zenner Media website (columns are sortable by clicking on the header).

CCIE per 100K capita
CCIE per 100K capita
CCIE per 100K capita
CCIE per 100K capita
CCIE per 100K capita
CCIE per 100K capita
To access the above chart in an interactive format, visit the Zenner Media website (columns are sortable by clicking on the header). View the nine year worldwide CCIE count as well as more CCIE water cooler gossip.


Perhaps in the future, it will not be unusual to have Wall Street pundits state: The decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average today was softened somewhat by a reported increase in the Pacific Rim CCIE count. Do YOU agree?

Contact Brad Reese
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