Eric Yuan has been deeply involved with engineering since the 90’s with a knack for innovation and collaboration. He was one of the founding engineers and VP of engineering at WebEx for over a decade. Interestingly enough, Eric and his team of engineers laid the foundation for SaaS web conferencing technology almost by accident. In the early years, WebEx was originally a custom development shop until one of the co-founders felt productivity would improve if they monitored the engineers via video conference. This sparked the idea that other companies would benefit from such a concept as well and thus the pivot to web conferencing occurred.
WebEx became the market leader in Web Conferencing and later got acquired by Cisco for $3.2 B. After the acquisition, Eric stayed on as head of WebEx Engineering. He realized that in order for WebEx technology to evolve, it would have to be re-engineered from scratch which was something that his upper management would not allow. Frustrated, Eric left Cisco and started Zoom..
Despite competition from a plethora of web conferencing solutions (Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix), Eric fearlessly began to develop a new solution. As Eric enlightens, “Startups [and smaller companies] are much better for building up individual products. In larger companies, it’s a little bit harder.”
His team of over 100 engineers worked around the clock for 2 1/2 years in developing Zoom’s video conference platform. Since their launch, Zoom has achieved unicorn status and has a valuation over $1 B. In explaining the success of Zoom, Eric declares, “You can be successful if you make a product that makes a customer happy even in a crowded market.”
You can watch the full interview with Eric here.