Why Zoom Now?

In 2013, I was in the video conferencing space working with Vidtel. How did Zoom come out of nowhere and take up so much air in the room? There are a few factors.

One factor is that US broadband has gotten better in the past 6 years. A lot better. Starbucks offers top quality wi-fi now; not then. LTE was released in 2013. Now it is almost the standard. Better broadband makes video calls better.

Computing power has greatly increased – both on the laptop and in the smartphone. Faster computing makes for better video calls.

Also, 6 years ago WebRTC was just getting off the ground. Now most browsers support it. Some video calls utilize WebRTC.

More millennials have entered the work force in the last 6 years. They grew up making video calls.

There are probably a couple of other things that played a part, like focus and execution on the part of the Zoom team, but the improvements I listed – computing power, broadband and WebRTC – certainly helped. A work force that likes – or at least doesn’t mind video calls – added to the advantages.

Six years isn’t a long time, but it is a long time.

PS (This also helped)

Webex, Skype, GoToMeeting – all took their eyes off the ball. Microsoft changed Skype a number of times in the last 6 years. Webex was too proprietary and clunky. LogMeIn just plain screwed up. They bought Jive, they had Join.me and GoToMeeting – and couldn’t figure out how to capture the market – and keep it – the way Zoom did.

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