by | Jun 9, 2024 | Karna Small Bodman, The Writer's Life | 9 comments

By Karna Small Bodman

For all of us authors, Zoom has been a great way to connect with readers, among others. I figure everyone reading this has a Zoom account and receives many invitations to join meetings from time to time. We don’t pay attention to the technology involved we simply take it for granted. But did you ever wonder how in the world it was invented?

The story begins back in China in the 70s. A young boy named Eric Yuan came from a poor family, and in the 4th grade, he collected construction scraps to recycle copper for cash. In 1987 as a first-year university student, he had fallen in love with a girl but had to take a 10-hour train ride to see her. That challenge encouraged him to develop a videotelephony software program so he could “see” her from a distance. 

Eric Yuan who invented Zoom

During his university days, he married his girlfriend. “Love conquers all,” right? Later, after earning his Masters Degree, he attended a training program in Japan and saw a speech given there by Bill Gates. Inspired by Gates’ ideas, Eric wanted to join the tech boom and move to Silicon Valley. He applied NINE times before we granted him a visa to come to the United States! When he finally arrived here, he got a job with Cisco Systems in 2007 and pitched a new smartphone-friendly conferencing system. It was rejected, so he decided to establish his own company. He managed to raise some start-up money and in 2012 he changed the name of it to Zoom, influenced by the children’s book, Zoom City!

Continuing to add staff and additional funding sources, his company continued to grow so it is currently valued at $4.53 billion, and Eric owns 22% of it! From collecting scraps of copper to collecting scores of shares today, and becoming an American citizen in the process, we all can thank our lucky stars that this young man with a vision was able to come here and attain “The American Dream.”

As I said at the outset, authors and readers can constantly benefit from his ingenuity. Case in point, here at Rogue Women Writers, every month we set up a zoom conference, which also appears on Facebook and YouTube, called Rogue Reads where we feature a number of bestselling authors talking about their new thrillers. This month’s show airs June 10th at 7:00 PM Eastern. You can see their names and register for it below this blog. 

Zoom City, a children's book

The Deepest Kill by Lisa Black, who will MC our Zoom event on June 10.

It will be hosted by our very own Lisa Black who also has a new release, The Deepest Kill. It features two female forensic experts who are called to a billionaire’s private compound on Florida’s Gulf Coast to investigate a tragic death in the wake of a dangerous storm of power, deception and conspiracy. 


Rogue Reads


Karna Small Bodman
Based in several states, including Florida, author of several thrillers, a children's book, and this blog: How Patience Pays Off

Karna Small Bodman is the author of five international thrillers that have hit #1 in Thrillers on Amazon and won several awards, as well as a series of children’s picture books. Her books were inspired by the six years she served in the Reagan White House, first as Deputy Press Secretary, later as Senior Director of the National Security Council where she was the highest-ranking woman on the White House staff. On book tours she has given over 400 speeches and interviews nation-wide.  When not writing or traveling, she is serving on several boards and swimming laps at their homes in Naples, FL, Washington, DC and Rancho Santa Fe, CA. 

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  1. Lisa Black

    I love Zoom. I’m not a Luddite, but I’m not a techie by any means, and I could immediately use it with no problems. However at that very first Zoom meeting (which was a team meeting of the Rogue Women Writers!) I didn’t realize my screen had been set on Active Speaker View and not gallery. It wasn’t until about 3/4 of the way through when I discovered Gallery View and realized I’d been visible on camera the whole time! Luckily I hadn’t done anything too embarrassing, though my fidgeting, stretching, pacing and snacking was bad enough!
    I had to Google Zoom City, not having had toddlers of my own. What a great name!

  2. Karna Small Bodman

    Thanks for that comment, Lisa. I too had to learn exactly how to handle Zoom in the beginning. Now I just try to have my hair brushed and keep an eye on the whole scene.

    • Jenny Milchman

      I had no idea! Thanks, Karna. And I can’t wait for our own Zoom event Mondays!

  3. Dick Bodman

    Great stuff, Karna

  4. Gayle Lynds

    You’re so right about Zoom, Karna! Thank you for the insight and wisdom!

  5. Scot Small

    Great stuff, what an inspiring story

  6. Victoria Doherty

    How neat! Thank you for sharing your research and insight with all of us. I did not know the name came from a children’s book…very cool!

  7. Tracy Clark

    This is fantastic, Karna!

  8. Nancy Ash LaBoe Ash

    My first Zoom event ever was during the pandemic. It was a library event, a how-to of something I don’t remember, because we never finished the session. About half way through, we were hacked by someone displaying pornographic pictures while blasting acid rock music. The event leader was so embarrassed, she immediately ended the session and sent us a text apology. I thought the whole thing was hilarious that some punk would think we women would all be shocked and horrified. Please.

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