Zoom: A Disruptive Form Of Innovation

Yvonne Chua, Co-Founder
27 May 2021 • 3 min read

Among dozens of video conferencing services, Zoom has emerged as a huge disruptive innovation from the pandemic, owing to its modern, video-first unified communications with an easy and reliable performance.

According to Christensen, disruptive innovation is the process in which a smaller company usually with fewer resources challenges an established incumbent business by entering the bottom of the market and continuing to move upstream. Specifically, the incumbents focus on enhancing their products and services to serve their most profitable customers. New entrants identify the overlooked customer needs and gain a foothold by delivering more suitable functionalities or value adds in a cost effective manner.

Image from Harvard Business Review

Low End Disruption

Zoom is considered as a low end disruption. Early on, its user friendliness and great performance has appealed to many small and medium sized companies and individuals at affordable prices. Not only has its cutting edge technology resolved the latency issue, but also delivered high quality audio and video, coupled with integrations that smaller companies are looking for. The motivation behind building such brilliant product that caters so well to the user needs is deep rooted in the co-founder Eric Yuan, as he understood the customers' pain points from his professional experience at WebEx previously.

“Yuan felt for the first time that he couldn’t satisfy his customers... Customers grew frustrated with the quality of the product. They wanted WebEx to work reliably and more intuitively. And above all else, they wanted the video to run seamlessly.”
Adapted from CNN Business: Everyone you know uses Zoom

By addressing these overlooked customer needs, Zoom appeals to companies with incumbent licenses yet, are willing to purchase and adopt Zoom.

New Market Disruption

The pandemic has triggered a new market disruption, in which remote working and virtual meetings have become the norm of many companies. Increasingly, people have adapted to new ways of working, collaborating with employees across the globe virtually, or adjusting to a hybrid workforce model to balance between in-office and remote work. This presents opportunities for Zoom to acquire a massive number of global customers who are new to video conferencing. By providing free and paid video conferences to facilitate remote learning, increase productivity and deepen collaboration, Zoom is able to capture greater market share overtime.

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