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Is Zoom the next Android or the next BlackBerry?

Is Zoom the next Android or the next BlackBerry?

Gaurav Jain
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Gaurav Jain is likely one of the founders of Afore Capital, a $124 million fund centered on pre-seed. He was additionally an early product supervisor for Android.

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In enterprise, there’s nothing so helpful as having the precise product on the proper time. Just ask Zoom, the recent cloud-based video conferencing platform experiencing explosive progress due to its sudden relevance within the age of sheltering in place.

Having labored at BlackBerry in its heyday within the early 2000s, I see plenty of parallels to what Zoom goes via proper now. As Zooming right into a video assembly or a classroom is right now, so too was pulling out your BlackBerry to fireplace off an e mail or test your shares circa 2002. Like Zoom, the corporate then often called Research in Motion had the precise product for enterprise customers that more and more needed to do enterprise on the go.

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Of course, BlackBerry’s story didn’t have a contented ending.

From 1999 to 2007, BlackBerry appeared completely unstoppable. But then Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, Google launched Android and the entire chinks within the BlackBerry armor began coming undone, one after the other. How can Zoom keep away from the identical destiny?

As somebody who was at each BlackBerry and Android throughout their heydays, my largest takeaway is that product expertise trumps every little thing else. It’s extra essential than safety (a problem Zoom is getting blasted about proper now), what CIOs need, your person set up base and the bigger model identification.

When the iPhone was launched, many individuals inside BlackBerry rightly identified that we had a technical leg up on Apple in lots of areas essential to enterprise and enterprise customers (to not point out the bodily keyboard for rapidly cranking out emails)… however how a lot did that benefit matter ultimately? If there’s severe market pull, the remainder finally will get found out… a lesson I discovered from my time at BlackBerry that I used to be fortunate sufficient to have the ability to instantly apply after I joined Google to work on Android.

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