If the question IS…
The question is; how much of this will be permanent?
Then, the answer MAY be…
“Zoom has added 3.5x more [monthly active users year to date] (through Feb. 24) than it did in 2019 (2.22 versus 0.64 million), so even if the conversion rate of new users to paid users is half of that seen in 2019, this would still yield 74% net new paid users in the first 8 weeks of 2020 versus 2019,” Chrane wrote.
While it seems somewhat off-color to be debating the merits of a business that will benefit from the misfortune of millions, this is the business, hobby, or passion we have chosen.
However, let’s be very honest and self-reflective for a moment. We come onto this board on a daily basis and debate the merits of the companies we follow and those in which we invest. Some board members use analytics, some financial analysis, others technical analysis, still others use reports from paid services, and most, just the “gut check”. While these approaches attempt to take as much “uncertainty” as possible out of the decision strategies we use, at the end of the day, we are all just predicting and speculating.
So, when we ask the question “how much of this is permanent”; I have the answer! The answer is…We don’t know! But, what we do know is that this unfortunate set of circumstances has resulted in Zoom being introduced to millions more potential customers than Zoom would have been otherwise. Now then, How sticky is the Zoom product and how many new free customers will be retained as paying customers? The answer…We simply don’t know. However, we can speculate that this unfortunate set of circumstances will result in some factor of these new users being converted to paid customers.
I find comfort being a long term holder of companies at times like these because it reduces anxiety, it reduces speculation and prognostication and allows for the facts to reveal themselves over time.
RELATED ANECDOTE: I am an owner of a position in Slack. I read about Slack, I analyze Slack, I have been known to speculate about Slack and never thought I would use or needed Slack. However, earlier this week, a fellow “Saul’s Investing Discussions” board member sent me a Slack invite to a Slack investing channel. I accepted the invitation, joined Slack, and joined this particular channel. I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience. A few days ago, I had never used Slack and now I monitor this particular investment channel daily and have set up a Slack Channel for my extended family. Harley; What is Your Point? My point is that there are millions of people around the world having this exact same experience with Zoom and perhaps Slack under these unfortunate circumstances. Perhaps, once these millions of individuals use the product, they will see its value and become paying customers.