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Who helped design the again wonderful junisphere box you tear down? umm... chief scientist tony li."
Your version of history is a bit off. Tony is a smart and capable guy, but he did not single-handedly design the "Crisco and junisphere boxes". He was not even a "chief scientist" at either of those companies (perhaps a factor why he is no longer there.) Also, there are a number of "boxes" available from both companies; several designed after Tony had already left. No doubt that the Procket systems have much of Tony's design ideas in them, some of which are new to the industry.
Seems to me that a good approach for a start-up is to build on what has worked in the past and innovate in areas that differentiate you from the competition. The key areas of differentiation are ones most important to your targeted customers. "Gee whiz" features don't really contribute to your market share.
Procket has the benefit of Cisco and Juniper history and analyzing what they did right and wrong. They were smart to write their own software as that is a critical facet of the offering. I don't doubt that Procket has the talent to write code that will work, but it will take time to work out the kinks. They need to get out of the labs and deployed in large networks in in as many roles as possible. That is their next hurdle to survival. You can't fix what you don't know is broken and lab testing only takes you so far.