The COVID-19 pandemic has closed businesses and schools, and quarantined people in their homes worldwide, creating a surge in working remotely. As a result, the videoconferencing company Zoom has swiftly risen to prominence by enabling businesses to function, students to attend lectures, churches to share services and friends to connect. Writing for Forbes, Alex Konrad cautions that Zoom’s original mission did not include this much attention or this large a variety of uses, so problems inevitably surfaced. Konrad offers insight into a service many now depend on to navigate the demands of social distancing and virtual jobs.
In the era of “sheltering in place,” Zoom has gained importance for work, education and social connection.
Eric Yuan, founder of the videoconferencing firm Zoom, became a billionaire in April 2019, when Zoom’s shares went public on Nasdaq. He shifted into overdrive in March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay at home and physically distance themselves. Suddenly, people started using Zoom for a variety of purposes and on a scale Yuan hadn’t anticipated. Businesses turned to Zoom to keep functioning. Universities and high schools used it to enable their students to view classes and their teachers to keep teaching. Zoom gave people a way to view religious services and meet with friends.
The coronavirus pandemic caused the number of Zoom users to spike dramatically.
On a single day in March 2020, a record-setting three million people downloaded Zoom. Since...
Alex Konrad, an associate editor at Forbes, covers venture capital, cloud and enterprise software out of New York City.