The trouble with ZM

“The problem is that the way the video images are digitally encoded and decoded, altered and adjusted, patched and synthesized introduces all kinds of artifacts: blocking, freezing, blurring, jerkiness and out-of-sync audio. These disruptions, some below our conscious awareness, confound perception and scramble subtle social cues. Our brains strain to fill in the gaps and make sense of the disorder, which makes us feel vaguely disturbed, uneasy and tired without quite knowing why.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/29/sunday-review/zoom-video-…

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This article points out issues of perception with video lag in general and not specific to zoom. Zoom is mentioned only because it is now the popular medium.

Not really news against zoom, but talking about how real time interaction is better than video. Obviously. Not much to affect the company but the medium I think.

  • Rider
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“The problem is that the way the video images are digitally encoded and decoded, altered and adjusted, patched and synthesized introduces all kinds of artifacts: blocking, freezing, blurring, jerkiness and out-of-sync audio. These disruptions, some below our conscious awareness, confound perception and scramble subtle social cues. Our brains strain to fill in the gaps and make sense of the disorder, which makes us feel vaguely disturbed, uneasy and tired without quite knowing why.”

What nonsense. I was on a 20 person Zoom meeting for three hours!!! a week ago Sunday, and I, and everyone else, came away exhilarated and happy, and definitely not vaguely disturbed, uneasy and tired without quite knowing why. What absolute bulls–t!

Saul

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“What nonsense. I was on a 20 person Zoom meeting for three hours!!! a week ago Sunday, and I, and everyone else, came away exhilarated and happy, and definitely not vaguely disturbed, uneasy and tired without quite knowing why. What absolute bulls–t!”

I will reply, simply, my experience, in a work environment especially, is different than yours.

Bob

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“Our brains strain to fill in the gaps and make sense of the disorder, which makes us feel vaguely disturbed, uneasy and tired without quite knowing why.”

Now, if only the above comment was a commentary on our reaction to the daily onslaught of negative news in the media regarding the state of the world and the health of our economy…I would certainly agree!

…sorry OT, but I could not miss the opportunity for just a bit of board levity; I trust it will be appreciated rather than admonished.

Harley

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I don’t own Zoom, I had never heard of Zoom until my company adopted it as we moved to working from home about six weeks ago. Today I probably spend a minimum of 4 hours every day on Zoom during the work week. So whether I want to be or not, I am a heavy Zoom user.

Zoom is ubiquitous. I know very very people who it is not now a regular part of their lives.

It is simple and it works.

My company also has the Cisco product and I use MS Teams extensively in another private capacity. Zoom is the better product period. I despise Cisco’s product and have had two disastrous and embarrassing client meetings using it…I will never use it again for an important virtual meeting. Teams works, but it just isn’t as intuitive and as easy to use. Probably because Teams does a lot of other things and isn’t optimized the way Zoom is.

The only thing I don’t like about Zoom is the launch/start up through your web browser which then requires 3-4 additional clicks and a browser tab cleanup afterward.

When I was young it was fun and interesting to have to work through getting something set up on the home PC/laptop or troubleshooting it. Today, I want a toaster that is simple and reliable, put in bread, push button get toast. Zoom is pretty much the toaster of video conferencing. In my view, nothing else is as good on the market. Competitors may catch up, but right now, I don’t see anything remotely as good which I think is why they have done so well.

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I agree with KBGlen. I’ve used a lot of the others and I find Zoom hands down the best. You can add Lifesize to the list of services that have caused embarrassing client situations. If you use it purely through LifesizeCloud it isn’t as bad but still doesn’t compete. We also have access to Hangouts and Meet and used them both right at the start of the pandemic but as soon as we got Zoom integrated it didn’t even take an email announcement to get people to switch. It showed up in GoogleCalendar with no formal announcement and by the end of the next day everyone pretty much had opened all the calendar events and switched them over. A few days later people were already sharing stories of how they used it outside of work.

I wrote the following about this feedback loop and network effect on the premium service ZOOM board (post #450 on 2020-04-21):

"…It will be interesting to see if we get some sort of conversion numbers for unpaid to paid individual accounts and corporate accounts. I believe these two things drive each other:

- Companies pick up software because individuals are familiar and recommend it. This dynamic lowers both the learning and acceptance curves. Hardware installations, software integration and workforce preference all come together to form a barrier to entry that makes it hard for competitors to take business away.

- People who work at companies get exposed to software and learn it because they have to, and because culturally they want to know how to use the tools their peers use.

There is a 3rd dynamic that comes from the fact that Zoom is a communication tool. It takes this feedback loop and amplifies it with a network effect. Both companies and individuals send Zoom invites to other companies and individuals. This is how I’ve been exposed to most video conferencing apps. Here I am years later and in a leadership position at a hightech company who just switched to Zoom. I didn’t send the purchase order but I certainly was a vocal proponent of Zoom because I had used it with other companies and individuals. Now there are hundreds more people exposed on a daily basis because of this one decision point.

Depending on how the recent expansion converts to paying accounts and how this network effect plays out, we may see a lot of the valuation “fill in” to form a new base of assumptions for valuation."

KBGlen wrote:

The only thing I don’t like about Zoom is the launch/start up through your web browser which then requires 3-4 additional clicks and a browser tab cleanup afterward.

While I agree it should just open in one click, it should only be 2 clicks right now. This could be a problem of your integration. If through GoogleCalendar, you should have a blue link that opens another browser tab which will automatically ask you if you want to continue. if you click to open there you should be in the meeting. If not correctly added to the meeting invite you get a google wrapper URL which will cause an extra click. If you have more clicks than that…I’m not sure what they are for. Also, if you have good GSuite integration you will see the same meetings in the Zoom Client and you can just join there without the browser (open the app instead as your entry-point).

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The only thing I don’t like about Zoom is the launch/start up through your web browser which then requires 3-4 additional clicks and a browser tab cleanup afterward.

I use the Zoom App on my Mac so never have to go to a browser. Works like a charm. It is so intuitive that you can’t really go wrong. Not sure how this works on other platforms though.

DT

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I use the Zoom App on my Mac so never have to go to a browser. Works like a charm. It is so intuitive that you can’t really go wrong. Not sure how this works on other platforms though.

Me too, I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about with “four clicks”. On a Mac it just opens and you are there.
Saul

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On a Mac it just opens and you are there.

Windows too. I figured it must have something to do with starting in a calendar.

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Our continuing education to be a foster parent in the state of Ohio has moved to Zoom. We absolutely love it as opposed to sitting in a room with a bunch of people. We have taken every single class offered since it started, trying to knock out as much of the 60 hours as we can before this ends in case they decide to go back to the old way. Each class is three hours and I haven’t noticed any issues with perception. These are often not comfortable subjects either, the last two classes were on sexual abuse of children. This is probably my first post on this board. Hopefully I am not considered off topic.

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