A Pandemic Winner: How Zoom Beat Tech Giants To Dominate Video Chat


Roughly one year ago. I heard colleagues referred to a meeting on zoom. It was one of those passing references where people assume you already know what they mean. But i didn't. I literally never heard of the brand within a few days. Of course i knew as did millions of others who likely had not known before. Zoom is by no means the only way for a video meeting but the company has come out ahead during the pandemic zoom is among npr's financial supporters. And we cover it like any other company. Npr's shannon bond has the company's pandemic story chief financial officer kelly steckel berg vividly remembers one specific date. Last spring march fifteenth. Last year was the day when everything changed. Its like we woke up and almost overnight that demand grew exponential demand from companies. Trying to keep running after sending everybody home. School setting up virtual classrooms then. The floodgates opened here at npr weeded stories about fitness classes. Moving to zoom. You're going to need a broom towel. Happy hours complete with drinking games. We figured out rules for virtual beer. Pong one of our producers watched her sister get married over zoom. You may now feel your ballot. Chests by april zoom meetings were attracting three hundred million participants a day thirty times the amount just a few months before zoom was an upstart and it was going up against products from giants like google and microsoft which are both npr supporters. So how did zoom beat these heavyweights real richness to simply way easier. Jason freed is ceo of base camp. A company that makes remote work software. He told me over his preferred app. Skype he's been working remotely for two decades. He says zoom made sending a meeting link as easy as sharing a youtube video open room. You get a you moral you. Send the url around people. That's it unlike. Other video meetings people you invite to zoom. don't have to log in or download. Software freed says that simplicity meant even though. The app was intended for companies. It was really easy for everyone else to use to but zoom was so popular and convenient. It had a downside. The fbi warning about zoom bombing intruders has started crashing zoom meetings because security was so lax townhall school classes. Aa meetings. were all targets. Dennis johnson knows all about this last march. He was defending his doctoral. Dissertation on zoom in front of family and friends with an unknown attacker scrawled racial slurs genitalia on the screen. A year later johnson still avoid zoom when he can every time. Somebody called me. Dr arteaga On so it just like a nasty taste in my mouth. Researchers uncovered other security and privacy flaws zoom told users meetings were fully encrypted when they weren't the company admitted shut down the accounts of activists in china after pressure from the government. Zoom went into damage control mode. It put everything except privacy insecurity on pause for three months and it reached settlements with federal and state regulators investigating the issues. Stucco burg's zoom. Cfo says the episode was a wakeup call. It was a humbling experience for all of us but we learned a lot through it and we have come out on the other side at a stronger a better company with a stronger and more secure platform now. After a year of daily life and major milestones conducted over zoom what happens when people get vaccinated and can go back to seeing each other face to face. Daniel ives as an analyst at wedbush securities there could be a roaring twenties type field. Whose covid where people are just gonna wanna get out and just almost a pent up demand but he says zoom has made such inroads into our lives in the past year. It's here to stay so they're still time to learn how to use the mute button

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