October, what a shi*tty monthThe party’s over and the hangover’s kicking in – in October Zoom drops to $60.97, its lowest point since first going public.
It’s still not entirely clear why, because things were actually going pretty well. The firm released a whole new program of hardware and software features at Zoomtopia (its annual event and possibly the coolest name in conferencing) taking in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, proximity and location-based services, face detection, an interactive white board for meetings, and personalized company logos.
Excitingly, CEO Eric Yuan made a rare appearance at the 2019 event – sounds normal, but actually stranger than snow in the desert. The Zoom CEO is legendary for his absence – on Zoom’s pre-launch roadshow he only showed up to one single investor lunch, and his trip to New York for the IPO was just his eighth work trip in five years. That’s not to say the man doesn’t have a crazy work ethic though, and it’s shaped the way that Zoom operates. After moving to the US in the early 90s he could barely speak English, could only write software code – and it took him nine tries to get a visa so that he could stay in the US. But he didn’t give up – in fact, he later said he was willing to apply 20-30 times if he had to. He got game.
Eric’s most famous quirk however is to conduct almost every meeting on Zoom. He says he always offers to meet in person later, but asks for a Zoom meeting first – and usually that’s all that’s needed. That’s a strong sales technique, right there. But apparently it actually all started because of his basketball obsession – he only insisted on taking virtual meetings so that he didn’t have to miss any of his kids’ games 🏀
📚 Fun Fact: Did you know that Zoom employees get reimbursed for any book they purchase for themselves, their families, or their kids? “We want to hire people who are self-learners,” says Yuan 🤓. The perks seem to work – in 2018 he was named CEO of the Year by Glassdoor, with a 99% employee approval rating.
Did you know that Zoom employees get reimbursed for any book they purchase for themselves, their families, or their kids? Photo: Susan Yin / Unsplash