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Dave Schaeffer on leadership and operations at Cogent Communications

This is a podcast episode titled, Dave Schaeffer on leadership and operations at Cogent Communications. The summary for this episode is: <p>Dave Schaeffer, founder and CEO of Cogent Communications, discusses his path in networking and the innovations that have propelled their ISP to success. In this episode Avi and Dave touch on: </p><ul><li>The differences between developing a product and a business</li><li>Focusing on the product and knowing when to pivot to new ideas</li><li>Raising investor money and the dynamics it creates</li><li>The decreasing costs of internet service and Cogent's role in creating affordable access</li><li>How COVID-19 has impacted culture and operations at Cogent</li><li>Hiring practices when looking for early career vs senior employees</li><li>Dave's advice for his younger self</li></ul>
Episode overview
00:30 MIN
How Dave got into networking
06:06 MIN
Dave talks about understanding business opportunities and the difference between developing a product and a business
06:44 MIN
Thoughts on focusing the product, and knowing when to pivot if investors aren't investing
03:50 MIN
Raising outside money, the credibility attached to those investments, and getting lucky
04:28 MIN
Avi and Dave discuss telecom as a business of scale
02:39 MIN
The decreasing costs of Internet service, and how it relates to wave-division multiplexing and optically interfaced routing
04:27 MIN
The secret to running lean and effective teams at Cogent: driving down the cost of bits per mile, and standardization
06:17 MIN
Cogent's ring architecture offers resiliency and flexibility in preventing backbone outages
01:32 MIN
Avi and Dave talk about oversubscription in the 90s, and what that scenario would have looked like with COVID-19
06:12 MIN
How COVID has affected culture and business at Cogent
02:47 MIN
Wholesale business and "netcentric"
00:39 MIN
Navigating the reaction to mandatory vaccinations at Cogent
02:21 MIN
The idea that the internet is a bunch of garage mechanics banging on routers with wrenches
02:31 MIN
Dave and Avi talk about going into the office and visiting employee spaces
02:31 MIN
What percentage of Cogent hires are early career, and does Dave weight early or senior career differently?
03:10 MIN
Dave's advice to his younger self
01:19 MIN