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How Zoom Won 2020 by Meeting a Surge of Demand CEO Eric Yuan never expected the business tool to become a social lifeline. But by focusing on fundamentals, the brand rose to the occasion.

By Jason Feifer

This story appears in the December 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Grace Rivera

It was a Monday morning in mid-March. Schools in California had just gone remote, and Eric Yuan's daughter was settling in for the first day of her new routine. Then she turned to him and, like kids were doing with their parents everywhere, asked him for help using Zoom.

"She'd never asked me a question about Zoom!" says Yuan. Nor had he ever expected her to, even though he is the company's founder and CEO. "When we created Zoom, the goal was to serve enterprise and business customers. I never thought about my kid having to use Zoom."

That's when Yuan knew his world was about to change. This tool he built, which was once reserved for corporate communications, was becoming a defining part of everyday life. His task was no longer to just build a great company; it was now to make sure his company rose to this unusual but defining moment. And it wouldn't be easy.