032: Unicorns, Happiness & Raising $130 Million You Don’t Need: Inside One of the Fastest Growing Companies in Silicon Valley w/Eric Yuan
Zoom is growing 300% each year, and well on its way to being a category king. Why is happiness at the center of the success of this business? What is the responsibility the leaders have to investors and employees, and what category design lessons can we learn? On this episode, Eric Yuan shares his leadership philosophy and what makes him tick.
Think about how you can scale your business to spend more time caring about existing customers. - Eric Yuan
- Internal referrals: happy employees will always be happy to reach out to their own networks for people you can hire.
- Category design: If you’re too early you’re going to spend too much time educating customers, if you’re too late you won’t stand out.
- Part of the mission is taking care of employees and investors because they bet on you. If you don’t go public you’re screwing them.
At the start of the show, Eric shared on the incredible growth of Zoom and his secret for success. He shared why his company has a Chief Happiness Officer, and why it’s important to think about caring about others. Next, we talked about why Zoom employees get free books, why timing is important in successful category design, and why customers are the best VCs.
Eric also spoke about;
- The cool Zoom function that allows you to change backgrounds
- The transition from developer to leader
- How to know when to trust your gut
- Why going public shows your commitment to investors and employees
When a company aims to make the customer and employee happy, everything else works. Every dollar and every hour of work represents the trust people put in you. Don’t always think about scaling your business to get as many new customers as possible, think about scaling to serve the customers you already have. Keeping people happy should be at the center of all that you do, and it can be applied to every department in a company. A happier employee makes a better product.
Prior to founding Zoom, Eric was Corporate Vice President of Engineering at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco's collaboration software development. As one of the founding engineers and Vice President of Engineering at WebEx, Eric was the heart and soul of the WebEx product from 1997 to 2011. Eric proudly grew the WebEx team from 10 engineers to more than 800 worldwide, and contributed to revenue growth from $0 to more than $800M. Eric is a named inventor on 11 issued and 20 pending patents in real time collaboration.