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  • Jack Lau

Success = A Little Talent + A Lot of Luck. (from $6M to $16 Billion in 7 Years)


One of our heroes is Nobel Laureate, Daniel Kahneman. He once said, in his seminal book, "Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow", success is really a combination of talent and luck. In fact, to be more precise, it is a little talent plus a lot of luck.(

How we all wish to have the luck part. But honestly, there is also a saying that we should focus on what we can control and not on the factors we cannot. And, we all know that talent can only be useful if you work on it, take advantage of it, and expand on that.

As we are writing this blog, there is a renewed wave of pandemic cases in Hong Kong. Sports facilities are closed. Dinner is not permitted at restaurants after 6 pm. But, thanks to video conferences, we miraculously are still able to conduct many of our activities. In fact, one may argue that we are even closer than before since everyone is at home and we are able to talk face to face (virtually) with literally a click of a button.

Because of our reliance on video conferences, a company really stood out --- Zoom Video Communication. And, here are some really cool facts about Zoom that we discovered:

  1. One of the earliest investors in Zoom was Jerry Yang (yes, the very Jerry who founded Yahoo.). Mr. Yang invested alongside someone at Series A of Zoom a cool $6M US in 2013 at a valuation of $24.5M. At the closing bell last week, Zoom's market capitalization now is somewhere north of US$65 billion. So, that $6M is ---- wait of it (as Barney Stinson would have said in the comedy "How I Met Your Mother"), roughly US$16 Billion. Yeah, that is right. From $6 Million (which is roughly the cost of a semi-luxury apartment in Hong Kong), in 7 years, you will be able to own roughly half of Hang Seng Bank (market cap US$32 Billion) which makes about US$3 Billion profit a year. Go figure! (By the way, Hang Seng Bank was founded in 1933.

  2. Zoom, like most young technology companies, runs its services on the external cloud. (Yes, our readers would know that we are always interested in the underlying technologies.). Guess what, Zoom runs mostly on --- wait of it (again).... "Amazon", "Oracle", "Microsoft", plus its own.

  3. As to the magnitude, well, Zoom now has about 300 Million active users (we are not surprised by the number.) In fact, churchgoers would be interested to know that Sunday morning is now a busy time for Zoom. To support its services, Zoom deploys 17 data centers worldwide --- Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Melbourne, New York, Toronto, Bay Area California, .... (

  4. For the data center, Zoom works a with a company called Equinix and a few others. Equinix, for instance, is itself a US$65B market cap company).

  5. Lastly, it may interest some readers that one of the 17 data centers is located in China and is operated by an Australian company, according to an interview to the CEO of Zoom.

That's it, folks. This is another "Let's dream silly big" article. Have a great week ahead. And, stay safe everybody.

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322 次查看2 則留言

Jul 21, 2020

Jack, I always learn something from you. Besides this, last time your happy formula of using numerator and denominator was so inspiring too. Thanks


Jack Lau
Jul 20, 2020

Thanks for reading.

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