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Better Zoom Meeting with Gladwell’s “Tipping Point”


With the emergence of the deadly coronavirus disease, numerous changes have been noted in physical meetings. The regular one-on-one conferences were noted to be the hotspot for the disease spread. However, a new mechanism on how to proceed with various sectors’ initial operations had to be derived. In this regard, the physical meetings were terminated and substituted with the social media platforms. Specifically, Zoom media was able to take the credit for working more closely to the various physical seminars.

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Video-conferencing came to the limelight as it was an already tried; though not commonly used platform. It was mainly used by the global operating businesses to link customers overseas (Dai 2). Concerning the videoconferencing option, safety, and security for any institutional data was considered. Fortunately, Zoom video communications became the primary beneficiary as many institutions began trying their platforms to carry out their usual operations.

Zoom has joined the few initially trended products and events that have proved Malcolm Gladwell’s tripping aspect in his book Tipping Point. In his book, Malcolm describes using theories of how actions that may appear small create a tipping point for any product’s idea to trend at the right time, with the right people, and the right place. According to Malcolm, the tipping point is that magical and fascinating moment when a trend, idea, or social behavior goes past the threshold, tips, and spreads like fire to be the main discussion point or becomes the central system.

The barely 9-year old videoconferencing platform has hit the trend as the referral service for classroom lessons and meetings and romantic dates, happy hours, church services, book clubs, and costume parties. Like other trending social media platforms, the Zoom has become a key player in the internet culture. Explained below is Zoom video communication’s market journey and how Malcolm used the three main theories to show how Zoom has managed to reach the limelight.

The Market Expedition of Zoom Mass media

Zoom Video Facility which is based in San Jose, California, is an American communications service and technology company. It is a peer-to-peer cloud-based web portal which provides video telephony in cinematic form, chat services, hence, used for distant education, telecommuting, social relations, and teleconferencing.

Zoom’s corporate model focuses on easier product provision alternatives. Besides, it uses cost savings techniques, which minimizes computing costs within the infrared level. Therefore, because of its flexibility in cost of operations and alternative premium rates, Zoom has become a market hub for many business operators.

The zoom media company was formed by Eric Yuan, who was by then, the corporate vice-president for Cisco WebEx. An excellent entrepreneur, Yuan, learned the benefits of having a media company. Therefore, in April 2011, he decided to leave Cisco WebEx with a group of 40 engineers to venture into their own company, which they initially called Silsbee. It was a challenge for the company to find investors; this was attributed to the public’s thought the video telephony market was already fully occupied.

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However, two months later, in a letter to investors, Yuan wrote about how unhappy the target market was about video conferencing tools. According to Henry and Teresa, Zoom, just like any other videoconferencing platform, has a security concern because of possibility of hackers accessing the meetings and potentially retrieving personal information during shared meetings (3). However, Yuan mentioned that the future of communication for the continent is video seminars.

Moreover, the investors seemed to have endorsed Yuan’s idea, which made the company expand the organization from the proceeds of their previous company, the CiscoSVO. This created the initial potential for the company to begin a sustainable operation. One year later, the company changed its name to the current Zoom, deriving its name from Zoom city children’s book by Thatcher Hurd. In September 2013, Zoom Company launched its beta version that was able to host a conference with persons up to 15 all participating.

Zoom formed collaborations with collaboration software providers named B2B such as Redbooth. Also, it established a service called zoom working, which made partnerships with renowned Vaddio, Infocus, and Logitech. In 2013 September, Horizon Ventures and current investors in a Series B round raised a total of 6.5 million dollars from Zoom (Etherington para.1).

According to Apptopia, a firm that tracks app downloads, Zoom had gained a customer turnover of more than 3 million (qtd in Etherington para. 4). It emerged as the most downloaded in both Playstore and Applestore. Yuan acknowledged the world’s critical moment and confirmed that the continent had understood the need for a tool like a zoom overnight.

Actions That Made Zoom the Better Option

Zooms policy way back before the pandemic has always been to make it a routine of doubling its peak of online usage and installations through thousands of new additional servers. The central vision of Yuan was to discover a product around technical precision from the ground up. This product was to build the best user experience on which Zoom app architected for. Moreover, Yuan was ready to reply to any customer who wrote to him, a rare action for any outrageous CEO. Yuan’s visionary speech made the company raise a million dollars from various investors.

Today, Zoom has continually expanded its base in various countries worldwide because of its flexible cost and reliability. Its free version hosts up to 100 video participants at once. Its ability to pick different backgrounds also makes it more suitable for users (Correia et al. 429). Zoom is more comfortable and more robust than the other videoconferencing platforms (Creo 120).

It came out strong and reliable to users all over the world at the time when they urgently needed its services. According to Kurtzman, Zoom delivers ease of collaboration of people just as it applies in the offices or institutions. Zoom is believed to have tiptoed only on a typical overnight assertion. Still, according to Kurtzman, Zoom is well equipped with ideas and experts to sustain its operations in the coming years.

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Zoom has had difficulties in a typical trading environment of copping up with criticisms from all the competitive settings. Among the various concerns in form of criticism are privacy and online harassment (Lorenz and Alba). A phrase that has been developed on this apprehension is zoom-bombing, which happens when hackers gain access into a Zoom procession and access private files and documents (Henry and Teresa 3).

To avoid this constraint, the Zoom has worked tirelessly to its services secured. It still has extreme work to take care of the security of its users. It should improve the quality of its services and manage their moving on amid increasing demand for online communications. The company’s efforts to curb this serge are stipulated, such as the company’s reliance on the 17 global data centers.

Relations between Gladwell’s Three Rules of Epidemics to the Trending Zoom

As discussed above, Gladwell, in his book tried to explain the aspect of tipping. He tried to describe the moments at which tipping points happen. Through establishing how epidemics and events begin, Gladwell explained how people can create tipping points by using the three primary laws of tipping. The laws use various perceptions to elucidate how the trending peak is a process and sometimes can evolve rapidly through various natural calamities. The proposed laws are, “The Law of the Few”, “The Stickiness Factor”, and “The Power of Context”.

The Law of the Few

The law mainly focuses on the social network structure of the setup. It also admits the face-to-face passage of information between the conveyor and the recipients (Gladwell 30). It affects the attempts by the three main correlates in the information passage program. The correlates are; connectors, mavens, and salesman. These three prominent people are key players in the social network trends. They either influence the global market through virtual or physical videoconferencing.

For the first person, the connector, this is a public figure. They are renowned people in the society and can as well be referred to as celebrities. They usually have the highest number of friends and acquaintances who conditionally or unconditionally spend their time maintaining their connections. In the social network platforms, they have the highest followers. According to Gladwell’s power law rule, celebrities are generally rare in a society (Gladwell 31).

For instance, Zoom was headed by Yuan, who came from a renowned company. Yuan was a celebrity, thus, could reach out to customers in a more convenient way. Celebrities are public figures, and their networks of putting into usage company’s products would influence the public’s perceptions positively into buying them.

The second person is Maven; a person who most people rely on to get the latest information. Maven uses his everyday wisdom to share his new ideologies with others to win their attention. Mavens have the best knowledge on how a product may perform in the latter days. This is attributed to their specialized acquaintance of the market. In his affirmation to the investors, Yuan had a vision of the future, having to videoconference as an option for online meetings. Evidently, Yuan proved that videoconferencing is the new way of running institutions without physical reporting to the offices.

The third person is salesmen who are known as the physical persuaders. The salesmen are best at expressing feelings and emotions to convince a customer into buying their products. By this impression, they can capture the attention of the market because of their emotional contagiousness. Zoom is a tech-based product, and its reputation was best expressed in the social network.

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The three people in the law of few relate their different abilities to make clear their information. The first cycle comes from the mavens who provide overview information of the market and moves to the connectors who spread the information and the salesman who convinces those who need a physical impression. They are essential resources in beginning a word of mouth epidemic.

The Stickiness Factor

The stickiness factor is the second rule by Gladwell, which deals with the information itself. It works to ensure that facts has been accurately expressed and can be remembered by the audience (Gladwell 89). One of the best ways to formulate this plan is to determine the target audience and define what best can make the information memorable. Zoom’s information became memorable when they decided to make their free versions for access by people who could not do premium versions.

The Power of Context

In the Power of Context, natural occurrences and global events can tip an epidemic. Gladwell notes that people are more than sensitive to changes in the surrounding (170). He used three main theories on this rule; broken windows theory, diffusion of innovation theory, and peer pressure theory. These main theories mainly show how people react when there is a natural occurrence. Zoom tipped overnight due to the emergence of the pandemic. Previously, only a section of people used its services, yet people saw it as the only way for the future.


Zoom meeting has achieved a market peak within a considerable short period. On its introduction to the market, people had a wrong impression of videoconferencing. It was thought impossible. However, the coronavirus pandemic has made the negative perceptions of online meetings to change.

Today Zoom has become the meeting platform; it has made everyday office actions achieve a certain percentage. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Tipping Point clearly stipulates the road to tipping. Following his three rules to tipping, he gives an advanced view of how a company can trend. What is thought impossible can be possible if the tipping concept is correctly put into action.

Works Cited

Correia, Ana-Paula, Chenxi Liu, and Fan Xu. “Evaluating Videoconferencing Systems for the Quality of the Educational Experience.” Distance Education, vol. 41, no. 4, 2020, pp. 429-452.

Creo, Robert A. “Zoom, Zooming, Zoomed into the Future! Moving to Optimist from Skeptic on Online Mediation.” Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation, vol. 38, no. 8, 2020, pp. 119-122.

Dai, Yun. “Situating Videoconferencing in a Connected Class toward Intercultural Knowledge Development: A Comparative Reflection Approach.” The Internet and Higher Education, vol. 41, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1-10.

Etherington, Darrell. “Zoom Video Conferencing Adds $6.5M In Funding To Drive Expansion And Uptake In Education And Health“. Techcrunch. 2013. Web.

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference. Little, Brown and Company, 2000.

Henry, Arley, and Teresa Shellenbarger. “To Zoom or Not to Zoom? Choosing a Videoconferencing Platform.” Nurse Author & Editor, vol, 30, no. 4, 2020,p. 3.

Lorenz, Taylor, and Davey Alba. “Zoom-bombing Becomes a Dangerous Organized Effort”. The New York Times, 2020. Web.

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