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Optical/IP

The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking

Wanted: Green Thumb

Wu-Fu Chen As any home-grower knows, getting those damn seeds to germinate is one thing; getting the little sprouts through the next few stages is quite another.

That sums up Wu-Fu Chen’s problem. He’s great at seeding startups. In fact, he’s seeded so many that he’s lost count of them all (there were 23 last time we counted). But he’s yet to bring one to the point where it really starts blooming.

In other words, he’s a skilled botanist: But can he garden?

Right now, he’s got a whole bunch of recently germinated startups in his incubator, Acorn Campus. They include LuxNet, Audia Technology, Peak XV, Plato Design, Pine Photonics, Micro Pixels, Photonport, iCrossTrade, IntPax, WebQA, and OnChip, according to Acorn’s Website.

Then he’s got his older progeny out in the field. There’s Anda Networks, Cinta Corp., and Geyser Networks Inc. And there’s OptiMight Communications Inc., Santera Systems Inc., and ZettaCom Inc..

None of them, however, has actually made it into the big time. Anda has come closest, filing for a $100 million IPO last August and then quietly withdrawing just before Christmas (see Anda Networks Withdraws IPO Filing).

Others appear to be struggling along. Geyser’s “platform to maximize bandwidth efficiency in the metro space” is too much of a me-too product and has suffered (mis)management problems (see Geyser Reduces Staff, Geyser: Third Time Lucky?, and Geyser Out of Steam). And Cinta has stayed in stealth mode for so long that it’s raising suspicions (see Cinta's Strange Story).

Wu-Fu Chen’s prettiest plants are Optimight and Zettacom, which isn’t saying much. Optimight has a Raman-less way of doing ultra-long haul (see OptiMight Details Long-Haul Box and Raman Risks Emerge ), and Zettacom is touting its next-gen switching silicon (see ZettaCom Advances With ZEST (& ZEN). Both of them, however, face heavyweight competition, and the jury’s still out on their technology.

The big question, really, isn’t which Wu-Fu Chen startup will blossom first; it’s which will be the first to wither on the vine.

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MrLight 12/4/2012 | 9:33:42 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Yes for startups, if they have the right product, at the right time and at the right price.

However, it looks like the "The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking" needs updating.

We should at least have someone from Cisco, Ciena, Juniper (well they will get more optical), Nortel/lucent (yoyr pick), JDSU, Bookham, Huawei, Tellabs/Fujitsu

also a VC name, a customer name (who is building an optical Ethernet network say), and finally someone in one of the new up and coming startups.

MrLight :-Q,wanting some light shed on the new movers and shakers
actual 12/4/2012 | 8:20:46 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Absolutely amazing piece of garbage. Lightreading is becoming the National Enqirer of Optical Networking
NoObjectivity 12/4/2012 | 8:20:45 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Crappy, desparate pseudo-humour on Russo and Lucent, nonsensical tech ranking...these guys are sinking.
fatchance 12/4/2012 | 8:20:43 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking This must be a slow news day, at least give us some real scandals or at least make up something outrageous that will get the message board burning. You can always print a retraction later.
noitall 12/4/2012 | 8:20:42 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking he's not only very smart, and very connected but he's a humble, decent guy who people can trust. worldview is the best vc firm you've never heard of, that's true, but it's for a good reason: they spend more time with their companies than promoting themselves.
noitall 12/4/2012 | 8:20:37 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking what has cisco done in optics???? the cerent box is the ONLY real success story they've ever had and now that product is under fire from multiple vendors, they have no products they've built that are really compelling under his leadership...and anyone who's serious about optics knows cisco's product line, across the board, sucks....pirelli? shut down. qeyton? shut down. they are nowhere in optics! is lr on the cisco payroll?
optical-tracker 12/4/2012 | 8:20:35 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Keep looking for Joe Furgerson and let us know where he is. I have a marketing position he would be great for.
bear 12/4/2012 | 8:20:32 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking that's part of the fun in it...chill out and stay a while.
bear 12/4/2012 | 8:20:32 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking agreed
LightCycle 12/4/2012 | 8:20:31 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Here's a little kicker on Huber.

Apparently in recent months hes been introducing himself to potential Carrier customers as "...I co-founded CIENA..."

Nice foot-in-the-door Huber!
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