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News Archives

Zoom Goes From Conferencing App to the Pandemic’s Social Network

Thursday April 9th, 2020

By : Drake Bennett & Nico Grant
Source : Bloomberg 

(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- Like the rest of us, Eric Yuan is taking things day by day right now. The founder and chief executive officer of teleconferencing software company Zoom gets up each morning, after three or four hours’ sleep, and nervously checks the previous day’s capacity numbers to make sure the servers aren’t overwhelmed by traffic. Then he begins the long slog of videoconference calls from his Bay Area home. “It’s too many Zoom meetings,” he says, via Zoom. “I hate that.”

Along with the crush of new users and the challenge of running a business during a pandemic, there’s the deluge of negative news stories, the letter from the New York state attorney general, complaints from Democratic senators, and class actions filed on behalf of consumers and shareholders—all accusing Zoom of mishandling or abusing user data while allowing hackers to run amok. It’s not helping that, with school and college canceled, Yuan’s three kids are at home clogging up the Wi-Fi. The other night he got an email from a mother about a troll who invaded her kid’s Zoom virtual classroom and showed inappropriate content. Afterward, he couldn’t fall asleep.

The only thing keeping Yuan sane is his mom, who’s been living with the family. Each day for lunch she brings him a noodle or rice dish she’s made, upbraiding him when he forgets to eat it. And if Yuan has time after dinner, mother and son take a walk in his backyard. “I tell myself, every morning when I wake up, two things,” Yuan says. “Don’t let the world down. Don’t let our users down.”

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