SOUTHERN HUBEI – The Founder and CEO of Zoom Eric Yuan sits smiling ear-to-ear. How could he not with the soaring price of Zoom’s shares and record setting revenue.
Yuan spends part of his time each year in China close to where he grew up. “My parents were both geologists and sometimes would work in mines. They were always bringing bats home with them for me to keep as pets, which was nice because I always had a love for exotic animals.”
He then gets more serious. “People think of Zoom as an overnight success story but really we have been working on this for years.” Pointing to his lunch – a bowl of soup sitting in front of him. “A business is a lot like a soup. You combine all the ingredients together, a cup of determination, a pinch of know how, and 35 pounds of bat wing cartilage, [which he insists is the best part] simmer for 4-6 hours and then give out bowls to people and see what happens.”
It’s certainly been a winning strategy for Yuan with shares of Zoom up almost 700% year-to-date since he found his “recipe for success” leading up to the current Covid-19 crisis. As we walk around the grounds of his sprawling estate you can’t help but hear the sound of thousands of wings flap around us.
“I actually have cameras all around and host Zoom meetings with the bats at the office. Sure, it creeps out the engineers but it also keeps them motivated. For example, earlier this year when our video chats were plagued with hacks and Zoom bombs I simply locked the team in here. Within hours they were reduced to tears but had also enhanced our security five-fold.”
As of this writing Zoom shares had become the largest company by market capitalization on the Nasdaq.