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Founder of Zoom 8 times was denied a visa to the United States. Now he is a billionaire, and the whole world uses his application

Recently, the name Zoom has surfaced on the net. What is it, why is everyone talking about this service?

In recent days, more than 200 million active users have gathered in it, although by March 15 there were only 600 thousand .

This is the story of a dreamer who has become a billionaire and conquered the hearts of millions.

Both parents of Zoom head Eric Yuan are mining engineers. He grew up in the Chinese province of Shandong. In his youth, the guy was inspired by the founders of the largest IT companies, for example, Bill Gates, but for a long time the basics of programming were not given to him. However, hard work has changed everything.


Eric Yuan

His dream was to get into Silicon Valley and create his own startup . It turned out to be not so simple. He was denied a visa 8 times. However, in 1997 they were still allowed. In the United States, Yuan joined WebEx , where he worked on a platform for online conferences.

Developments were useful in the future. In 2007, Cisco bought WebEx for $ 3.2 billion, and Yuan rose to the position of head of engineering. After 4 years, he left the company to create his own business.

The most difficult thing for me at that time was to explain to my wife why I got involved in such a dubious adventure and quit my job with a good salary.

– Eric Yuan

Yuan called former Cisco Development Director Dan Sheinman for a cup of tea and decided to show off his new project. They intersected while working at Cisco and were even on good terms.

But still, Scheinman thought the idea was crazy because of the presence of competitors in the form of Skype, Google Hangouts and others. Therefore, Dan made a couple of calls and almost immediately wrote a check for $ 250 thousand , without even looking at the presentation.

I then said: I believe in you, and I do not care about this presentation, because the whole thing is in you.

– Dan Scheinman

But Yuan still showed his presentation and so impressed investors that they invested $ 3 million in his project .

The idea paid off. By 2015, 65 thousand companies used the service.

In 2019, Zoom went public. After the first day of trading, the service was estimated at $ 15.9 billion.

What kind of Zoom is this

Zoom is a cross-platform video conferencing service. A certain analogue of Skype, but for a narrower audience.

It works according to the freemium model, offering free access to create a conference for up to 100 people with a total duration of not more than 40 minutes . To increase the limit, you need to pay $ 14.99.

Unlike competitors, Zoom does not offer bloated functionality. It focuses only on video conferencing. The developers have devoted all their efforts to improving the quality of video and sound transmission.

Users note among the advantages:

• lack of lags even with poor Internet
• blur and replacement of the background
• free of charge during an epidemic
• intuitive interface

On the main screen there is a panel with all the conferences, plus the time for which they are scheduled. On the second tab, the conference itself and a link, or a code to invite other participants. All that remains is the contact list and basic settings.

In addition, Zoom allows you to broadcast not only video from the camera, but also from the desktop screen . Even on the iPhone.

During the conference, you can turn off both video and audio. Plus, you can see the list of active participants. There are no other extra buttons.

Good communication and coronavirus made Zoom popular

Zoom has a simple interface, there are nice features, plus good connection quality.

But not only for this service fell in love. He responded quickly to all outbreaks of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pupils, students and employees of various organizations were transferred to distance learning or work. Other services at the very beginning of the epidemic did not allow free video conferencing for a large number of people, or for a long time. And Zoom allowed, removing all restrictions .

The company did not invest in advertising at all, it does not even have a marketing department. Yuan was so confident in his project that the principle of word of mouth was enough for him. People began to use the service and recommend it to others .

And if earlier companies used the “zoom” mainly, now schools and universities have joined it during the pandemic.

Pupils do their best to look for loopholes, as if to hide their absence in the classroom, and successfully cope with this, for example, replacing the background with a dynamic background with supposedly themselves. There are many ways of tricks, and this pleases students, encouraging the further use of the service.

There are questions to Zoom security

The more popular, the higher the chance that attackers will take advantage of this.

Problems grow with the privacy policy itself. So, Zoom allows you to use information about users for targeted advertising . That is, the company transmits information about your preferences and some personal data so that later users can receive specific advertising of goods or services.

There is no guarantee that such a relatively small company will be able to provide the proper level of security and avoid data leaks.

Also in the “zoom” is a function that allows managers to monitor subordinates during working hours. And at open webinars, incidents already happened when Internet trolls suddenly burst into a lecture and started broadcasting pornography from the desktop screen .

In addition, the service does not support end-to-end encryption , as experts on cybersecurity note, although the company denies this in every way. Some users complained that strangers appeared on their contact list.

And the other day, Vice Motherboard announced that because of the vulnerability, the application reveals the email addresses and photos of thousands of users, and also allows you to make video calls with strangers.

In general, there are enough security problems. But Zoom promised to quickly fix it.

Good luck. And thanks for doing it for free.

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