BZ and AZ

April 5 , 2022 /

BZ and AZ

BEFORE ZOOM and AFTER ZOOM

When I started a new chapter as a consultant and a coach in 1999, and worked for a consulting company as an independent, self-employed, contract consultant, we communicated with each other and clients via email, free conference telephone calls and mobile phone calls remotely from anywhere we had service.  At that time we also still used land lines. I had an office at home and also worked from our mobile RV regardless where we were in the U.S. Canada or Mexico. This latter description is still valid today and as the communication technology evolved I have been able to work with clients in the UK, Italy, Spain, Azerbaijan, Uganda as well as many on this continent.  Some of the early international calls were via Skype and now we use Zoom most frequently.  We also have unlimited time for talk and text on our mobile phones and I used that feature often, especially from Mexico where WiFi was sometimes unreliable.

We traveled often to meet personally with clients and with candidates searching for new positions, piling up the miles as well as the costs which were passed along to others.  We were not paid for travel time and I complained because I had a friend in another industry who was reimbursed $50 hr for travel time.  My complaint fell on deaf ears and after 9/11/01, travel became even more onerous and a burden.

Our weekly staff meetings in the early days were always held at 11:00 AM Eastern Time and the expectation was that with rare exception, everyone, regardless where we lived or were in the world, about a dozen people, would be on the conference phone call for an hour to share updates, get additional information, look at marketing strategies, and consider assignments moving forward.  If anyone wanted to check in afterwards with any one of our colleagues, we initiated an additional phone call later or at some other time.

Webex, which we did not use, started in 1996 and was purchased by Cisco Systems in 2007 for $3.2 bn. It was a successful business communication platform but over time, problems with Java led to its demise and as of January this year, Microsoft and Cisco Systems are ending life support.  .

As of March 2020, Skype, which began in 2003, was used by 100 million people at least once a month and by 40 million people each day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Skype lost a large part of its market share to Zoom which began in 2003. I became a big fan of Zoom along with millions of others.  The following article, “How Zoom became the ‘Kleenex’ of video calling” is a fascinating explanation of the Zoom phenomenon.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90639158/zoom-naming-strategy

In 2011, I left the corporate relationship and launched my own independent coaching and consulting practice. I worked primarily with individuals who wanted to make a career shift of one kind or another.  I discovered, in that process, it was not merely about a job or a career, it was about living a meaningful, purposeful, and productive life. I considered the work/balance description to be a myth and although I understand the intention, my conclusion was that it is life, with work as part of life. How much a part will depend on each individual’s preferences and limitations. Thus, what I do today is Life Coaching & Counseling (Consulting) and I limit my practice to a number of part-time hours each month.  I keep an office separate from home, work in our home office frequently, and from the RV on the road. I am an active blogger and post regularly on Twitter and LinkedIn.  You can also find me here: https://garygruber.com/

*(I receive no financial benefit from Zoom nor do I own any Zoom stock))

 

 

 

 

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