If there is one app that has become fashionable during the Covid crisis, it can be said without hesitation. Zoom. This application has been with us for more years than you think, but it has not been until the planet has been immersed in a global pandemic that it has become known worldwide.
But, all that glitters is not gold. Zoom has been on the verge of one of the most famous deaths: death by success. Aefore we begin, let's put ourselves in context to understand how they got to this point:
Zoom was founded in 2011. Eric Yuana Silicon Valley entrepreneur, created Zoom out of his own need. As a young man, he had to take a 10-hour train ride to see his partner and began dreaming of a way to enhance his relationship with his partner through the use of new technologies.
Many years later, working at a Silicon Valley technology company, Eric approached his superiors about the need to create a lightweight video chat service that companies could use for meetings. At the time Skype and Webex dominated that market, and there didn't seem to be room for more tools. All his friends and acquaintances insist that the market is very saturated and that it is not a good idea to invest in it.
Despite having everything against him, he creates Zoom. It was officially launched in 2013, at a time when Skype was being updated to be more intuitive on mobile devices and Google was launching Hangouts.
It was launched for two types of audiences: companies that paid for its premium services, and users who used the app for free. They could hold meetings of up to 500 people with a maximum of 40 minutes. Zoom begins to grow and its product becomes increasingly known, especially among employees of technology companies.
Their strategy was clear: spend the essential on marketing and prioritize the product. Thus, Zoom's advantages over the competition grew every year.
With everything going for it, the company goes public in 2019, and everything seemed to be going smoothly, but... along comes Covid.
By the end of 2019 Zoom had about 10 million active users. It inadvertently jumped to 200 million by March 2020. Due to quarantines imposed by many countries, not only businesses were using the app, families and friends started using it on a daily basis to communicate. This all sounds like good news, but Zoom was not prepared for such a volume of traffic.
Accusations of data leaks, security problems, poor encryption... everything could go down the drain.
Zoom has started to fix the problems, but is far from having the situation under control. Despite its huge success, the app was never intended for this mass use. Eric and his team need to adapt their company to this new dimension.
What can we learn from this story?
- There's always room for one more in the market if you get offer an improved product with respect to the competition. You can't compete in marketing with the big players in your industry, but you can compete in product.
- Initially, focus on a small niche market and create a product tailored to all their needs. The big companies in the market are going to try to satisfy as many people as possible, so your product cannot be so specific. Take advantage of that.
- Controls growthYou have to grow, but you can never do it sacrificing the quality of your product. It is common in the ecommerce world that due to situations beyond our control, such as our current situation, the volume of orders exceeds our capacity. It may be tempting to accept all those orders at the cost of delays in delivery times or a worse service, thinking that it may be a good opportunity to attract new customers to our website, but we will not get these buyers loyalty if we do not give our best service. It is better to grow more slowly, but built on strong foundations.