Being online is no longer an option but a necessity and an industry standard for business survival. No matter what industry you are in, if your business is not online then you are at risk of falling behind in your market and inevitably failing to your online competition. Zoom founder, Eric Yuan, is an inspiration in his field and his story can be used as a perfect analogy as to why your business should be online, available and accessible to all.
The Online World
Technology has changed drastically over the past 30 years, it has shifted from being something new and exciting, to a normal part of our daily and routine lives. Quickly consider how many times you use the internet every day, and for what reasons? It has changed the way we do most things like learning, exploring, sharing, communicating and, most importantly, working. The key to success, in terms of marketing, branding and promoting, in the online world is to be adaptable and flexible to change. Whilst coronavirus (COVID-19) has halted, bankrupted and strained many businesses around the world, it is fundamental to use the period of stand-still to grow your company, to diversify your services and to keep providing business, no matter the situation. The simplest answer to achieve this is for your business to be online.
We look to one particular and inspirational case that bloomed during this global coronavirus pandemic, Zoom Video Communications (Zoom). Eric Yuan, Founder and CEO of Zoom has made $4 Billion in 2020 to this day. Zoom is a video conferencing platform used by millions of people across the world, as lockdown forced companies to send employees home, disrupted businesses and industries from education to trade, many quickly adapted and continued to function as normal, but virtually, through the use of video softwares such as Zoom. Zoom became the new office, the new conference room, the new classroom and even a place for family gatherings (And an absurd amount of online quizzes). The question here is, how did Zoom manage to virtually eradicate the competition despite being less than a decade old, compared to the other video conferencing giants like Skype, WebEx and even Google?
Yuan’s success is one created by determination, experience and ultimately innovation. In 1997, after his visa was rejected numerous times, Yuan arrived in America. Despite the language barrier, his skillset in programming secured him a job as an engineer for WebEx. For years he worked his way up the company’s ladder until he was earning a healthy six-figure salary. However, Yuan was discontented working at this firm, stating that Cisco was using the same software he had created for them over 20 years ago, and despite customers being unsatisfied with the lack of changes and glitches in the application the company wasn’t adapting. Despite the risk, (and his wife telling him no), Eric Yuan made the dicey decision to leave and create his own video conferencing company.
Did Eric Yuan reap the rewards of risk? Absolutely. Yuan has become a self-made billionaire. He knew that the industry of video conferencing could be better, and that is why he founded Zoom. In numerous interviews with Forbes, Bloomberg and many more, he has stated the amount of hard work and dedication it was to start the company. He believed in his idea and knew that with the right investment, he would strive, and most importantly, he did not fear the competition. He knew that if his products and services were better than the industries giants, that Zoom would be successful. Since December 2019, Zooms services have grown by 1,900% as the world temporarily shifted online, since the spread of Covid-19.
Yuan’s motive for innovation and change, which laid foundation for his success, was not in financial gain, power or any form of wealth but through an idea that the working standards can and should be revolutionised. The typical 9-5 job, the commutes, the unseemly coffee chats with Karen and more could all be changed, it just took insight and dedication from Yuan and, unfortunately, a pandemic to give a final push and a reliance on moving to remote and online working.
“I hope this crisis can be over very, very soon, but one thing I know for sure is that companies will learn this is the way to work”Eric Yuan
It is now more evident than ever, that companies that fail to adapt and change with time get left behind. The era we live in is a technological one, companies and products get judged by their online presence, their website, social proof from testimonials and ratings and so on, which is one of the main reasons Zoom bloomed during this period. It provided a service not simply better than its competitors, but it gave companies a voice, a lifestyle, an opportunity, freedom to work from wherever, whenever. So how does this relate to smaller businesses and companies around the world today?
The fact that the average person spends around 7 hours online every day, which is more than 100 days online this year, credits the importance of online marketing and branding. Every day, slightly more than 547,200 new websites are created around the world. What do these statistics and numbers mean for a small business trying to keep up, or even take over its specific industry? To stay current, it is vital that business, especially start-ups and smaller ones, have a user-friendly, professional and up-to-date website. Not just for your customers, but for yourself, give your company what it deserves and provide a lifestyle and a voice, just like Yuan did.
If we want Eric Yuan’s story of success and development to inspire our own process, understanding the importance of believing in your own product or service means making an investment of time, money and faith. An important investment to make in today’s world, is having a website, an online presence, to provide a point of access to your business at all times, to review, to share and to recommend, all of which make your products or services even more desirable. Understanding that it takes time to grow, but with the right marketing and branding the internet becomes the window into the professional and unique company you have always been trying to develop. If you are going to be different, be better, be bold and be online. While companies were scavenging for their outdated and unused Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), getting their houses in order with software, accessibility, communication and more in order to work remotely, Eric Yuan seized an opportunity and became the leader of the remote working world. So, with the right resources, you must think, what can your company offer?
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