[a long but worthwhile read]
Eric Yuan, a Chinese American that migrated to the US at the age of 27 in 1997 barely able to speak English.
He was born in 1970 in Tai’an, Shandong Province of China. As at 4th grade, he was collecting construction scraps to recycle copper for cash. He had his first degree in Applied Mathematics and his Masters in Engineering. He spent 4 years working in Japan until Bill Gates went there to speak in 1994.
He decided to move to California with the little English he knew but was denied visa 8 times before the future billionaire was allowed on the 9th application to fulfil his dream in 1997.
He was good at writing codes so he spent the first several years in the US writing codes. He first worked for Webex – a videoconferencing start up until it was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007 when he became Vice President Engineering.
He was about 17 when the idea that eventually became ZOOM came to him. He was inspired to develop videotelephony software on a 10 hour train journey to see his girlfriend. He could only see her twice in a year and he wanted an easier way to “visit” her.
In 2011 while working with Cisco, he pitched a new smartphone friendly video conferencing system to Cisco Management but he was shot down. Cisco was hoping to compete with the FB social networking and his idea was out of place. They found out they made a huge mistake 3 years later.
Eric Yuan left Cisco to start ZOOM Video Communications in 2011. He laboured and received many rejections as he could not get any funding for the platform as they kept on telling him that ‘the market is too crowded’.
Even his wife initially questioned why he left his comfortable role in Cisco where he was already a top shot but he told her “I KNOW IT IS A LONG JOURNEY AND VERY HARD, BUT IF I DON’T TRY IT, I WILL REGRET IT’.
He changed his screensaver to “It can be done” in order to get provoked as he kept working.
Zoom kicked off in a crowded market but it cut a brand and a style for itself. As at 2017, Eric Yuan was everything in ZOOM. He was even in the Customer Service sending emails and receiving phone calls whilst also personally chasing after those who cancelled their subscription.
He is so popular with his own staff as the all gave him 99% approval rating with the outside one percent being his own self rating.
He reached the billion mark in April 2019 and was still remained unknown among the Forbes top richest people. He was not even near the top 500 richest as at December 2019.
Since the pandemic began, he has gatecrashed into the Forbes’ 500 richest humans landing at number 192. He is currently worth $10-11 billion dollars.
These billions were made on the back of lockdown with many organisations and companies signing up lucrative subscriptions. Some of them include Samsung, Uber, Walmart, Capital One and etc.
Many denominations and parishes that never knew of Eric Yuan signed up for his ZOOM platform in order to continue the gospel propagation and meeting the needs of their members. We at Hope Connections are one of them.
I hope you can read in-between the texts to take something home with you.
At age 17, an idea was sown in his heart whilst trying to solve the distance problem between him and his girlfriend. When I was at that age, girlfriend or boyfriend was a sin.
To now have time dedicated to solving distance problem between me and a girlfriend was definitely impossible. Mama Deji will tell you to face your future so you become a medical doctor.
I am not here to blame our parents. I am just here to remind someone that the idea you had to solve a problem years back can still be worked out. Just resurrect it.
Time hushpuppy and his gang spent on scamming the vulnerable one could have been diverted to writing codes.
It is a shame that with all the scamming, stealing and defrauding people, government patronage and etc, none of them is as rich as Eric Yuan with his idea!
Ideas rule the world but unfortunately, the church is not allowing her members to make use of the ideas given to them by God or inspired by the circumstances around them.
I am sorry I mentioned the church. I blame some of us for the state of poverty of the people we attend to when we continue to organise 9am to 12noon programmes for them during weekdays when they should be looking for work or meditating on proffering solutions to the numerous problems around them.
ZOOM has 300 million meetings DAILY. Eric Yuan owns 22%, and as a church, we are subscribed to a professional platform for 500 participants paying £40 a month. That means 22% of our subscription enriches Eric Yuan who may probably not believe in what we believe.
When you look at it from my perspective, you will ask questions that I ask. Why are the best ideas in life coming from people we believe have no part in our God? Why are the wealthiest people the ones outside of faith…they don’t pay tithes, they don’t give any sacrificial offerings in the church, they don’t ‘hear’ from God like we mostly say!
So sir, if you are church person with a medical background, I think it is high time we went back to God. We must be able to pray and heal or develop vaccines to cure some serious ailments.
If you are and engineer and you belong to the church, millions of ideas should be seriously buzzing in your heart now.
Seriously, if we practically follow the biblical principle, as we are discipling the nations, we should be lending to the nations also. Going by the way we ‘disturb’ God with our prayers, we should be the one with answers to the world problems.
Let us be the light!
source: Amos Ajewole, Pastor RCCG Hope Connections Huddersfield