Terrific Tech Trivia
Today’s column calls for a little bit of this, that, and the other thing. Typically, some people cook with a little of this and a dash of that or garden with the same kind of flair. Me? I like to write about a some of this or a few tidbits about that for the reader to tuck away for future reference or to simply enjoy in the moment. So, today’s this and that is technology trivia.
First up are fun facts about one of the biggest 2020 blockbusters—Zoom, the digital meeting place we’ve all come to appreciate for bringing us in touch with family and friends. Interestingly enough, Founder & CEO Eric Yuan developed the Zoom concept because he hated Monday morning commutes. At that time, I’m sure he had no idea how useful his idea would be in today’s world.
When Yuan started his company in 2011, the original name was Saasbee which was changed to Zoom the following year. Good thing. Imagine trying to make a verb out of “Saasbee” the way we like to say, “Google it” or “Let’s Zoom tomorrow at 10.”
Like most business behemoths, Zoom had a modest beginning in a run-down Santa Clara office with a broken elevator. However, from the get-go, if a customer cancelled a subscription, the CEO sent a personal email. When people questioned whether or not the correspondence was automatically generated, Yuan responded with a video call to prove otherwise. Given the company’s 3000 percent participant increase since the end of 2019, that practice has definitely gone by the wayside.
Switching gears here, did you know that for every 43 internet searches, a tree can be planted? The search engine company Ecosia has just planted their 100-millionth tree by using most of its online advertising revenue to fund the massive project. For the past eleven years, Ecosia, Germany’s first nonprofit for social good, has targeted their tree-planting efforts in biodiverse countries such as Nicaragua, Peru, Australia, Malawi, and Indonesia. They created a tree nursery project to provide 200,000 trees in Madagascar, a forest agricultural project in Borneo to prevent locals from selling the land to oil palm development and restored native forests in the Amazon and Australia devastated by recent fires.
A year ago, Ecosia celebrated their 50-million tree milestone which has since doubled. At that rate imagine how many trees will be planted in the next 3-5 years. And can you imagine what might be on the drawing board for tomorrow’s technology? I’m betting some of this, that, and the other thing.
Originally published, Orange County Register, August 13, 2020