Starting a business, especially in a foreign country is extremely difficult. If you don’t speak the language, not a registered citizen and can’t afford big investments then chances for you to become successful are very thin. While chances are low, it’s almost always never zero. All you need is perseverance.
We’ve previously shared you the origin story of our very own Burger Ramly. Today, we’re bringing you another true and inspirational story of how one of the most used online video communication software came to be. Here is the story of Eric Yuan, the founder & CEO of Zoom:
Eric Yuan was born and raised in Shangdon Province, China. Despite being the son of geology engineers, his interests lied more in entrepreneurship and he started quite young as well. Since the age of 9, he would collect construction scraps from his parents’ workplace to recycle copper for cash.
As he grew older, he developed an interest in communication devices. During his first year as a University student in 1987, Eric was inspired to develop his own videotelephony software during his 10-hour train ride journey to visit his girlfriend (now wife). He wanted to find an easier way to ‘visit’ her without actually traveling long distance.
With this idea in mind and a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics with a minor in computer application and a master’s degree in geology engineering in hand, the future CEO decided to move to Silicon Valley, US in 1997 after being inspired by Bill Gates. Unfortunately it wasn’t all smooth sailing as his visa was rejected 9 times and he spoke very little English at the time.
Eric was actually one of the first 20 employees of WebEx, a web conferencing startup, which was later acquired by Cisco in 2007. After 4 years with WebEx and Cisco, he left the company after his idea for Zoom was rejected. As you can guess, it was probably the best decision he made as he then started his company, Zoom Video Communications. The rest, as they say, is history.
After 9 years, Zoom grew to 2000 people working under the company. The new video conference call app became a huge success and by 2019, Zoom became a public company via an initial public offering at NASDAQ. With the success of Zoom, Eric is now a billionaire and his net worth sky rocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic as more people started to use the app to work from home and for online classes.
Where would we all be without Zoom? The video conference call app has certainly made our lives easier, especially during the pandemic and it’s all thanks to Eric Yuan for making it possible for everyone to come closer together despite the distance.