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Episode 77 of 91

CRO Zoom, Ryan Azus: It’s Not Zoom Fatigue, It’s Work Fatigue

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Ryan Azus, CRO of Zoom, has been selling all his life, from baseball cards as a kid to ads in the school newspaper to — crucially — books every summer in college. Every year, he and and thousands of other young people would be dispersed around the country to sell books door-to-door as part of an entrepreneurial program called Southwestern Advantage. That experience taught him valuable lessons about his own strengths and weaknesses as a salesperson, the diversity of people’s needs, and the joys of hard-earned time off.In this episode, Ryan and Joubin talk about the silver lining of growing up with divorced parents; what Ryan learned from his epic first job as a book salesman; how he talked his way into a job at WebEx after being screened by HR; the big thing a lot of people on the outside get wrong about working at a successful fast-growing company; joining Zoom in August 2019, right before COVID changed everything; what it feels like when your job is to keep the world connected; and why success is not created in a “sunny meadow.”In this episode, we cover:
The biggest difference between Ryan’s childhood and that of his own kids (04:18)
Why selling books every summer in college was a lucrative, life-changing adventure (10:45)
Where his competitiveness comes from, and being a “student of business” (22:01)
The early days of teleconferencing at WebEx, and how Ryan started working there (27:17)
Building RingCentral from zero to a billion-dollar run rate, and being a “headquarters person” (33:54)
“Falling forward” and the myth of instant success in business (39:00)
Zoom fatigue and virtual backgrounds (44:37)
Keeping up with the explosive growth in demand for Zoom, and the intense pressure of the job (48:23)
The most important traits Ryan looks for when hiring (55:05)
Zoom’s stock price and the “belief barrier” (01:00:05)
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