If you work in the tech industry, chances are you have used Zoom video conferencing before. My first encounter with Zoom was when Grace, a high school friend who works at Uber requested me to use the software for a video conference call. As with all users, I was initially reluctant as I wanted to stick to using Skype or Google Hangout. However, the video call experience with Zoom was seamless, and beyond my expectations. I was able to easily screen-share, invite my teammates, and after a few weeks in of being a passionate users of Zoom, I realized I was a laggard in the buzz around the now dominant video conferencing tool in Silicon Valley - all my friends at tech companies were already using Zoom. Today, Zoom is valued at over a billion dollar, having recently received venture capital funding of $100 million led by Sequoia Capital (total funding of $145 million).
Earlier on this year, I got the opportunity to sit down with Eric Yuan, co-founder and CEO of Zoom for an interview. In 1997, Yuan immigrated from China to the United States, where he was one of the founding engineer for WebEx, the video conferencing tool for enterprises which was acquired by Cisco for $3.2 billion in 2007. When Yuan first arrived in the United States, he could not speak a word of English. However, through sheer grit and determination, he worked hard to be one of the top engineers of WebEx, and was promoted to Vice President of Engineering. However, post the acquisition of WebEx by Cisco, he was getting increasingly frustrated by the direction of the company which had diverted from its original mission - to create the perfect video conferencing tool.