Eric Yuan was born in China, and lived there for most of his adult life. In the 1990’s Yuan heard Bill Gates speak about the internet. Yuan was in his 20’s then.
After listening to Bill Gates, Yuan had a dream to go to Silicon Valley in the U.S., a place where many startup companies find great success.
He applied for a visa to set out on his dreams in Silicon Valley, but hit a roadblock when the U.S. government denied his visa. He applied again, and he was denied again. He applied and was denied 8 times.
After two years of trying, Yuan applied for a 9th time and was accepted. He came to the U.S. in 1997. He didn’t know English perfectly, but he know how to write computer code, which landed him an engineering job with WebEx, a videoconferencing software company.
In 2007, WebEx was taken over by Cisco, and Yuan rose the ranks to become Cisco’s Corporate VP of engineering. Even though his salary was in the very high six figures, he wasnt happy because he spoke with many WebEx customers who noted that they weren’t happy with the videoconferencing services of WebEx.
Then he got the idea to develop a platform that would make customers happy.
in 2011, he began his new venture into a start-up, Zoom. Over 40 engineers from Cisco followed him to help with his start-up company, and Zoom was officially launched in 2012.
Just a few years later, the company had 1,700 employees, over 40 million participants, and its revenue doubled into $330 million.
Until 2015, Yuan himself was deeply involved in the customer service process and responded personally over email to customers who were not happy with the product.
After the world was hit with the coronavirus pandemic recently, many businesses were forced to be remote and rely on video conferencing for meetings. Since then, Zoom has become the most sought after app in the world.
Zoom stocks surged, share price increased more than twice of what it was just a few months ago, and Yuan’s personal net wealth rose from $3 billion to $7 billion.
Zoom is now being used daily by millions of people, and helping to save businesses who need to communicate with each other. This would have never been possible of Yuan gave up on his 8th attempt at getting a U.S. visa.