American Dream is still alive and real — Zoom(Eric Yuan) & DoorDash(Tony Xu)

Tommy Kan
2 min readNov 16, 2020

2020 will be remembered as a special year for many obvious reasons with the top two — COVID-19 global pandemic and 2020 US Presidential Election.

It’s also a very special year that demonstrated that American Dream is still real esp. for immigrants! Following my habit, let’s give a clear definition of the “American Dream” I am talking about here → “Everyone can achieve great success by unblocking their full potential with their creativity, commitment, hard-work at the land called “United States of America”.

Every year, the US stock market will create couple of new super rich thru a known process called IPO(Initial Public Offering), 2020 was not an exception. While because of COVID-19, 2020 did give a super boost to some companies with their product/services’ highly matched to the market needs — so called stay-at-home needs.

Zoom and DoorDash are the two key companies got this super boost by the pandemic in the US market. Coincidentally, both companies’ founder are the first-generation immigrant from China — the land I was born, too.

Eric Yuan founded Zoom in 2011 after quitting his super comfortable VP job at Cisco overseeing WebEx engineering, and took it IPO early 2020, and because of the COVID-19 super boost, the market cap went up more than 10x within 6 months after IPO. As I know, this kind of rocket-shooting growth never happened before.

Tony Xu co-founded DoorDash in 2013 with his fellow MBA students from Stanford. And recently DoorDash filed its S-1 targeting to the IPO before end of 2020.

Both of them are definitely self-made, when Tony come to US with his parents, they only have $200 in total. I am very sure they have gone through many unusual challenges and worked constantly super hard, as well with a great luck (like the timing for Zoom’s IPO this year). While I think it’s very fair to say, their success as self-made first-generation-immigrant billionaires is the true proof that “American Dream is still real today!

Never too late, if you have the strong will and actions, keep pushing the envelope, trust the power of free market that US provides to you, you will for sure get closer to your American Dream every day!



Tommy Kan

A lifelong learner and explorer! Grew up in Asia, now enjoying the dynamism of Silicon Valley in the sunny California.