"We're learning that, when it comes to enterprise users or otherwise, privacy is very important. Some features might work well for enterprise customers and may not work for consumers. You've got to have balance."
This week's quote is by the Chinese-American billionaire businessman, and the CEO and founder of Zoom Video Communications - Eric Yuan
In 2011, Yuan was working in Cisco. While working there, he had an idea of a new smartphone-friendly video conferencing system which he pitched to the management. When they rejected his idea, he left Cisco to start his own company, Zoom.
In 2019, Zoom became a public company via an initial public offering, at which time Yuan became a billionaire. His wealth has increased during COVID-19 pandemic, as Zoom has benefited from the shift to online work and teaching. On September 1, 2020, Yuan's net worth was estimated to be US$16.4 billion, a figure 360% higher than his net worth at the beginning of the year.
But the overnight popularity came with a lot of scrutiny. Privacy experts have raised all sorts of concerns, ranging from hackers taking over webcam & microphones to the company's ties to China. The New York Times found the company linking users who wanted to remain anonymous to their LinkedIn profile. Wired looked into questions about Zoom’s end-to-end encryption, a technology meant to keep chats hidden from prying eyes and ears.
All these concerns have put the CEO Eric in the spotlight. He argues that Zoom was originally meant as an enterprise product, not for personal use. Therefore, it was designed with personal privacy at the top of the mind. But he also agrees that the company needs to re-evaluate its priorities to meet the demands of all segments of customers in this unusual times.
He knows that the features that work for enterprise customers, may not work for individual customers, and he acknowledges how important it is to have a balance to cater to all the needs.
At DDSN we resonate with Eric's sentiments and his focus on privacy because working in the digital field for more than 23 years, we know that privacy is of utmost importance. Over the years, we have developed our softwares, websites and apps for our customers while keeping their security in mind. This is especially crucial to government organisations like the Police Association of New South Whales which happens to be our long-term client. They trust us with all their digital work. We are proud of our Australian-made digital technologies that are helping so many Australian organisations and businesses grow.
Who is Eric Yuan?
Eric Subrah Yuan is a Chinese-American businessman, engineer and the CEO and Founder of Zoom Video Communications (he owns 22% of the company).
Yuan was living in Beijing after his master's degree and attending a training programme in Japan. In that programme, he got so inspired by Bill Gates in 1995 (Gates gave a speech there), that Yuan moved to Silicon Valley in 1997 to join the tech boom.
At that time Yuan spoke very less English and applied nine times before being granted a visa to the United States.
Yuan joined WebEx, a web conferencing startup, where he was one of the first 20 hires. It was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007, at which time he became VP of engineering.
In 2011, Yuan pitched a new smartphone-friendly video conferencing system to Cisco management. When the idea was rejected, Yuan left Cisco to establish his own company, Zoom Video Communications.
Yuan was named the 2020 Time Businessperson of the Year, and was a part of the Time 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
At DDSN we share Eric's sentiments about privacy being the most important thing in any digital technology today. We have been incorporating this in all our operations, to create softwares trusted by even government organisations. We are proud of our achievements and hard work. We hope to help more businesses bridge that security gap in their businesses.