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10 Things You Didn't Know about Vik Verma

Vik Verma

Vik Verma is the CEO of 8x8, which specializes in providing interested parties with VoIP products. It is interesting to note that 8x8 is one of the tech companies that managed to survive the bursting of the Dot-com bubble. Something that should make its resilience very clear.

1. Studied Electrical Engineering At the Florida Institute of Technology

Verma started out in electrical engineering. To be exact, he went for a BS in electrical engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology. In total, the school has four colleges that specialize in Engineering & Science, Aeronautics, Psychology & Liberal Arts, and Business. However, the Florida Institute of Technology more than lives up to its name because about half of its students are enrolled in Engineering & Science.

2. Studied Electrical Engineering At the University of Michigan

Later, Verma studied the same subject but at the master's level at the University of Michigan. Amusingly, said school started out under the name of the Catholepistemiad, which interested individuals might recognize as a mishmash of Greek and Latin. This is because the University of Michigan was championed by a man named Augustus B. Woodward, who came up with what was supposed to be a universal classification system for human learning. Said individual even came up with other Greek and Latin names for his subjects, with examples ranging from Anthropoglossica for literature to Polemitactica for military science.

3. Studied Electrical Engineering At Stanford University

In time, Verma even became a candidate for a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. However, considering that he went on to work in Silicon Valley, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that he left the Ph.D. program in preference for signing up with a start-up.

4. Has a Reputation For Building Profitable Businesses Based On Emerging Technologies

It is interesting to note that Verma has a personal reputation for building profitable businesses based on emerging technologies, which is much easier said than done. After all, emerging technologies can enable interested parties to carve out lucrative positions in new markets. However, they are often the ones that have to establish those markets, which cannot be done without significant expenditure of time, effort, and other resources to make the relevant concepts known to potential customers. On top of that, those at the very front are going in either blind or not much better-off than blind because there is no precedent to provide them with useful guidance. As such, multiple successes in this regard can be considered particularly impressive.

5. Runs a Corporation That Has Reinvented Itself

In any case, Verma runs a corporation that has reinvented itself. For those who are curious, 8x8 started out as a producer of coprocessors as well as graphics accelerator chips in the late 1980s. However, it became involved in video conferencing, though by the time that it went public in 1997, it still had next to no revenue. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that 8x8 got devastated by the bursting of the Dot-com bubble, which makes it that much more impressive than it managed to survive to become the specialist in VoIP that it is in the present time.

6. Played an Important Role in the Change

Verma has been in charge for close to a decade. As a result, he has had a huge influence on 8x8. For instance, he played an important role in the creation of a cloud-based platform by which the corporation could offer VoIP services to interested parties. Something that made for much increased scalability because the platform enables interested parties to add and remove capacities as well as add and remove services with minimal fuss and hassle.

7. Left Ph.D. Program Because of Self-Reflection

As mentioned earlier, Verma left the Ph.D. at Stanford University in preference for signing up with a start-up. However, it is interesting to note that this happened because of a moment of self-reflection. In short, he took a summer course with the result that he got a low score on the midterm in spite of the fact that he had been in the top tier of the qualifying exam. Due to this, Verma realized that while he could use effort to make up for it, he didn't have the natural talent to become a truly ground-breaking Ph.D. graduate. Rather than settle for becoming an ordinary Ph.D. graduate with an ordinary career, he decided to do something different, thus leading him into the world of tech businesses.

8. Not the First Time that He Made a Bold Move

Speaking of which, that wasn't the first time that Verma has made a bold move. For instance, when he was still in India, he got rejected when he went to a U.S. consulate to get the visa needed to study in the United States. That same day, Verma went back to tell the official that he had made a mistake, which impressed him enough to change his mind on the matter.

9. Has Stated the Rise of the Omnichannel Workforce

Verma has stated that a recent trend is the rise of the omnichannel workforce. Basically, both Generation Y and Generation Z have grown up with various means of telecommunications such as chat, text, and email. As a result, they can switch from one method to the next with minimal difficulty. However, switching from one method to the next isn't as seamless as said individuals' ability to do so, meaning that there is increasing demand for business solutions that can support this kind of multi-platform communications.

10. Has Hired People Who Couldn't Fit Into 8x8

When asked about his failures as a CEO, Verma mentioned that he has hired people who couldn't fit into 8x8. Said individuals had plenty of talent. However, the issue was that their personal values weren't a good match for 8x8's company values. Something that happens quite often because companies can have very different ways of doing things even if they are in the same line of business, meaning that someone who can't slot themselves into the company culture can't become a true member of the team.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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