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  • Jack Lau

Long Time No Talk: Are you "Zoom"ing? or "Houseparty"ing?

Long time no talk, everyone. Who would have thought that in just a short period of time, most of us would be spending more time watching Netflix, sleeping, drinking more wine at home and doing video conferencing more than any before?

And, if you are like us, you would have used Zoom to do video conference call.... And, yes, if you are like us, you would be kicking and screaming as to why you did not buy Zoom's stocks on the market. While almost everything else is underwater, Zoom has gone up more than 2 times in the past 6 months.

Surely, Zoom is not the only video conferencing option and is probably not the first. In fact, earlier on there was a company called Webex, which was founded by 2 Silicon Valley partners, Subrah Iyar and Ming Zhu. WebEx was later on sold to giant Cisco for US$3.2 billion. (It would be about $2.9 billion net of cash at WebEx.)

And, guess, one of the engineers at WebEx is called Eric Yuan. Yes, the same Eric Yuan, later on, started Zoom. And, Mr. Iyar was an early investor of Zoom.

It is always fun to note the fun technology startup scene in Silicon Valley. And, it is even more fun to see how immigrant succeeds in the Valley. Mr. Yuan was born and raised in Shandong province, China, and immigrated to California in the '90s. Now, of course, Mr. Yuan is many billion over.

But, as we are beating up ourselves for not getting into the video conference frenzy, do note now that another fun thing is happening around the corner. The latest thing is "Have you Housepartied?" Yes, there is a rapidly growing app (more for fun) called HouseParty. It is tracking about 130,000 downloads a week, and growing.

More for fun, but definitely hitting a sweet spot of allowing friends to do video fun chat, Houseparty is more like a Zoom and Snapchat crossover.

With everyone around the world on alert and most of us reducing, if not stopping from, the amount of time outdoor, video chat is only getting more popular.

And, oh, yes, there are other options too. Friends may want to try Google Duo, which recently has relaxed the rule and allowed up to 12 people to do video call together.

Have fun video chatting, everyone and stay safe.

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