Zoom Corporation was founded in 1983 in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, where almost any type of electronic component could be sourced a short walk away. Akihabara is also close to Ochanomizu, an area famous for its numerous musical instrument stores. One of our first dreams at Zoom was to launch products under our own brand, but that journey took us seven years, eventually coming to fruition in 1990. We secured funding, declined all work from clients, started to bring lunch box from home instead of eating out and channeled all our energy into product development. One year later, we succeeded in developing a customized digital signal processor (DSP). After another year of persistent effort, we incorporated the DSP into our first ever product, the Zoom 9002, a palm-sized multi-effects processor that caused a stir when it was revealed at the NAMM Show, the world’s largest trade show for music products. The Zoom brand was born.
That legacy of product development is alive and well today. Together with Zoom’s entire staff, I am committed to changing the world by harnessing the latest technological innovations, an ambition that was shaped by my own personal experience. When I was in secondary school I had to listen to “Basic English” language study program broadcast on NHK radio. To listen to the program again after it was finished, I persuaded my parents to buy me a Sony cassette recorder, which had just been launched. Other companies at the time were still selling open reel tape recorders which had 2 x 200mm reel with naked magnetic tape. But Sony’s new compact cassette put all of them inside the palmtop enclosure. So much so that it ignited my passion to become an engineer and make the kind of products Sony was famous for. To become a company that leaves that sort of lasting impact on people, Zoom has set out Five Principles of Product Development and Five Standards of Conduct. By creating products based on those principles and by becoming members of our company committed to those standards, we will ensure the Zoom brand continues for another 100 years.
When we launched our first product, the Zoom 9002, the term “electronics manufacturing services” (EMS) didn’t exist. At the time, we didn’t have enough funds to build our own manufacturing plant, so we had to outsource production to third parties. That approach is now one of our strengths today, helping us to be a highly flexible company with a small fixed asset footprint. As the Japanese saying goes, “Inscrutable are the ways of heaven.” Sometimes success comes from unexpected places. Therefore, on behalf of everyone at Zoom, I would like to thank all our stakeholders for their support and I hope we can continue to meet and exceed your expectations.