Ronnie Tseng’s Self-intro – Catch a Wave

Ronnie Tseng, Business & Product Development Master (曾亭瑞 / 事業產品開發經理)

Before joining Team AppWorks, Ronnie was a Co-founder of iBeengo, an AppWorks #4 startup and successfully launched two online travel services, DingTaxi.com and AirPoPo. As a full-stack engineer, Ronnie wrote the codes of the MVPs and directed the web development team. In addition, during his time working at Taiwan Mobile, Ronnie successfully led a major revamp of the telecom’s mobile app, receiving exceptional user ratings from a base of over 1 million MAUs. Ronnie holds a Bachelor of Computer Engineering from University of British Columbia and worked abroad in Japan for seven years, where he also received an MBA degree from Nihon University. Ronnie has a passion for surfing and has watched countless sunrises from the shores of Taiwan.

(English Below) 人生有兩件事情讓我找回了自信——創業與衝浪。

小時候在台灣接受填鴨式教育,補習補出一身會考試的好功夫。但到了加拿大的大學讀電子工程,卻無用武之地。考試答案不在教科書裡、Project 如何完成也沒有製作手冊。電路板不會畫,只好拜託那位從小視修電腦主機板為樂趣的同學跟我同一組。Compiler 不會寫,只能「參考」從小就會寫 COBOL 那位同學的程式碼。

挫折的壓力,導致我大三的時候得了胃潰瘍,身心都疲憊,只想快點畢業,不要再碰任何電腦相關的工作。畢業後,有別於其他同學回台灣,或到北美的科技公司任職,我做出一個很奇妙的選擇:去了日本。在日本這動漫國度待了七年,收穫很多,但遠不及我後來更奇妙的選擇——我去創業了!

2010 年,一次家族旅行啟發了我們 (滿腦子想創業的弟弟、滿腦子想賺錢的我),發覺自助旅遊有許多環節可以被網路科技改善。 2011 年 12 月,我們兩人以 iBeengo 團隊加入了 AppWorks Accelerator #4。當時我對於寫 Code 興趣缺缺,單純想當個 PM,把網站開發外包出去。結果,接案工程師一個月後突然已讀不回、搞失蹤。眼見 Demo Day 即將來臨,我拋開寫 Code 的自卑,急迫買了幾本 For Dummies 教科書,閉關在 6 坪大的南港小公寓,從零開始開發。好險趕上了 Demo Day,看著弟弟在台上 Demo 我做出來的行程規劃網站,那一刻的我充滿了成就感。由於過去沒有旅遊產業的經驗,我們一直 Pivot 尋找 PMF,試著在不同旅遊業區塊找商機——我開發過民宿網、Walking Tour 活動網、DingTaxi 包車網,以及 AirPoPo 機場接送共乘 App。這  10 年的創業時光,累積的作品及成果,可說是我工程人生的高潮。

我一度找回了自信。

But!是的,But 來了。下的浪越高,快感越大,但能力不夠,最終會被白浪花給推倒。

2020 年,COVID 導致公司營收瞬間歸零。此前公司已經面臨成長瓶頸,突如其來的打擊,也來不及找出突破點,只好選擇結束營業。公司收掉後,腦子整天回放過去的錯誤決策,覺得都是自己能力不夠。我陷入了自我質疑、自我責備的漩渦。

好險,我身邊有張衝浪板可以救命。

早晨 4:30 起床、5:30 下水看日出、7:30 上岸、9 點準時變身為白領上班族。一週衝兩次,好浪可遇不可求。每天看浪況預報,自問「有浪嗎?」能衝到好浪,整天工作都很愉快。漸漸學會選好的浪點、學會挑好的浪,也學會如何釋懷。

「這一道沒衝到,再等就有。」

「浪太大,出不去。下次再來。」

「沒浪,那就划划水。運動運動。」

自信又重建回來了。給自己一個小確幸,每個月固定去台東衝浪聖地朝聖。在那認識了幾位衝浪前輩,啟發我對於衝浪更大的熱情。從衝浪的穿搭、衝浪板的選擇、衝浪技巧、秘密浪點位置等等,都有很大的學問可以鑽研。

回顧過去,創業 10 年讓我得到做產品的自信,創業的失敗讓我一度自我懷疑,在衝浪前輩的鼓勵下,我又在此重建了人生的信心。現在我相信自己的經歷不是浪費,只是一直在等更好的浪,所以我今年決定加入 AppWorks,想把自己的血淚與人生,貢獻給熱血的創業者,我也跟你們一樣經歷過這些起伏,尤其草創階段更像變幻莫測的海浪。

我是新上任的產品與商務開發 Master、退役的創業者。草創階段的大大小小問題,幾乎都碰過,很樂意與你聊聊。

In my life’s journey, there are two things that brought my confidence back, building a startup and surfing.

When I was growing up, I was told to go to cram schools, and focus on getting good grades. However, when I got into a Canadian university to study Computer Engineering, the academic scene was totally different than what I expected. The textbooks didn’t have all the answers for the tests. The project assignments didn’t come with instruction manuals. I didn’t know how to design a circuit or program a compiler, so I had to team up with classmates who grew up fixing motherboards or programming in COBOL. I never needed to rely on another person to get good grades before. During my third year, as I struggled academically and  felt the intense pressure of my studies, I suffered from a stomach ulcer. By then, all I cared about was quickly graduating, and wanted to never touch any computer-related work again. After graduation, my colleagues all found engineering jobs in Taiwan or in North America. However, without too much thought, I chose an unusual path and went to work abroad in Japan, aiming to master the Japanese language and watch anime without subtitles. My seven years in Japan went smoothly, and led me to start  my own company. 

In 2010, during a family retreat, my brother told me he wanted to build a startup. So, we brainstormed about what sort of business ideas we could try, dreaming that we could build a Facebook- or Google-caliber company. During the trip, we noticed that planning a roadtrip is such a hassle, and many aspects of travel can be improved by using technology. In December 2011, we were accepted into AppWorks #4, as iBeengo, an online travel startup. At that time, I still disliked programming, and preferred to outsource web development to a freelancer. However, after one month of communicating our product requirements, the freelance programmer suddenly went dark and could not be reached. Seeing that AppWorks Demo Day was just around the corner, I was so exasperated that I surrendered my reluctance, bought some web development books for dummies, locked myself in a tiny apartment, and built everything from scratch. The work paid off, and the iBeengo trip planning website was ready to be presented on Demo Day, but that was just the beginning. Since we didn’t have prior work experience in the travel business, iBeengo pivoted a few times, testing out different travel segments, and trying to find product-market-fit. I built an online BnB booking website, a walking-tour event website, an online charter-service booking website called DingTaxi, and an airport ride-sharing mobile app, AirPoPo. During these ten years of running a startup and building these products, I gained back my confidence through these small accomplishments. 

But, yes, there is always a But.

The bigger the wave, the more exhilarating to take off, but for those who lack skill, one will end up in the white water. In 2020, being hit by the COVID pandemic and global travel ban, my company’s revenue dropped to zero instantly. Not long before, iBeengo had already struggled to grow and couldn’t find a breakthrough, so we decided to close iBeengo. For quite some time, I viewed this event as a personal failure caused by my lack of ability and poor decision making. I immersed myself in a pool of self-doubt and self-blame, but luckily, I had a surfboard aside to keep me afloat. 

4:30AM Wake up, 5:30AM in the water watching the sunrise, 7:30AM out of the water, 9:00AM arrive in the office. This is my typical routine twice a week. Everyday, I check the wave forecast and ask myself if there will be good waves tomorrow. If I have a good surf session, the rest of the day is a bliss. Session by session, I became better in predicting swells, better in surfing, and better at letting go.

“If I didn’t catch a wave, just wait for the next one.”

“If the swell is too big to paddle out, then maybe next time.”

“If there are no waves, then let’s just paddle for exercise.”

Eventually, I rebuilt my confidence.

Nowadays, I would treat myself to Taiwan’s best surf destination, Taitong, once a month. 

Over there, I can relax and mingle with other passionate surfers and learn more about surfing, from surfboards, surfing techniques, apparels, to secret surf spots. It’s like a sanctum to me. 

AppWorks, too, is like a sanctum, but for entrepreneurs. 

AppWorks has a community of startup founders, and mentors that are passionate about making better products and changing the world bit by bit. The path of building a startup can be full of hurdles and hardship, but here at AppWorks, you can seek guidance or resources or be motivated by the network of founders and mentors. I encourage you to check us out. 

I am the newly onboarded Business & Product Development Master of AppWorks. If you need someone to brainstorm about a product idea or a solution to an early-stage startup problem, feel free to reach out to me anytime.

Alice Chen’s Self-intro

Alice Chen, Analyst (陳彥利 / 分析師)

Alice joined AppWorks in 2022 and is an Analyst covering AppWorks Accelerator and investments. Prior, she spent 3 years working in Alibaba group, helping corporate customers with their growth and operations on Tmall. She also counts various management and marketing stints in global toy manufacturer Mattel and wine delivery startup BottlesXO among her repertoire of e-commerce and retail experience. Alice received her Bachelor of Political Science from National Taiwan University, during which time she initiated several social impact projects to combat food waste and homelessness. Outside the realm of work, Alice loves dogs, techno/rap music, BoJack Horseman, and strongly advocates for gender equality and the LGBTQ community.

(English Below) 嗨,我是 Alice,我一直很著迷於質數的概念:每個數字獨一無二地存在於這個世界,無法像合數一樣被快速複製量產,它純粹且孤獨,是複雜網路金鑰的理論基礎。所以,我想用 4 個質數簡單介紹我自己:

2 個月挑戰:畢業後直接在上海找到工作

2016 年 5 月,台大政治系畢業前夕,我結束了大學時期的創業項目,渴望去了解更大的市場,並體驗不同的價值和生活,決定去上海找工作。我給了自己 2 個月的期限,倘若時限之內無法找到工作,就得乖乖回台。帶著一個行李箱、兩組學長姐手機號碼,我直接飛到這個從未拜訪過的城市,住在上海火車站旁的六人房青年旅舍裡找工作。很幸運的,我在 2 個月後,準時找到了歐洲新創公司 BottlesXO 的 行銷 職位,由此開啟了接下來的魔都人生。

3 份從 0 到 1 的工作

是緣份也是選擇,我過去 3 份工作經驗中,都選擇了從 0 到 1 的單位——不是新創團隊、就是大公司中新成立的部門。

在 BottlesXO 負責從 0 到 1 拓展上海市場,嘗試替App獲取第一批用戶,1 年後我加入 Mattel 擔任儲備幹部,從 0 到 1 搭建 CDP 平台計畫。又 1 年後,阿里巴巴旗下的天貓 App 重組用戶增長的團隊,由於 Mattel 與天貓的合作關係,我很幸運因而加入了天貓。在這些 0 到 1 的歷練中,我熱愛從模糊的現狀中梳理問題、尋找各種解決方案的可能性;熱愛小步快跑去驗證不同的解決方案達成目標,無論方法是從產品設計、行銷、或流量變現;熱愛看著專案一天一天長大,享受在前線衝鋒陷陣,享受挫折,也享受成果。

5 年用戶成長的經歷

工作的這 5 年來,雖然團隊和職稱在變換,唯一不變的是我積累的核心技能——用戶成長。

在第一份工作中,我沒有發現到自己在做的事情叫「用戶成長」,只隱約的感覺自己總是在關注用戶生命週期,不太像傳統的行銷職能。直到在 Mattel 與阿里巴巴的合作中,我才將過去的「點」串連起來——在 BottleXO 通過行銷及各種手段去快速獲取客戶,在 Mattel 的 CRM 部門負責用戶購買轉化及留存,正好覆蓋了用戶生命週期的整段過程。

豁然開朗後,我開始大量閱讀用戶成長的書籍,並察覺對用戶成長而言,厲害的產品能力與大量的用戶數據,是不可缺少的要素,這個覺察促使我離開 Mattel,並加入了阿里的用戶成長團隊。3 年的阿里經驗中,我從一個小產品的運營,到最終負責部門的雙十一專案,在 DAU / MAU 的目標下去拆解用戶週期上的關鍵行為,並通過不同的產品去實踐;在第 3 年時,更開始負責流量變現,包含設計變現方案及定價、廣告及行銷產品工具的開發,以及拓展大型品牌客戶的合作,幫助其電商營收成長。

7 年前的初衷

2021 年,爸爸身體出現狀況,在疫情下難以在兩岸奔波,與此同時,長期高壓高工時,我的身體也已不堪負荷,於是最終決定離開阿里搬回台北。這 5 年來成長與收穫滿滿,給了我莫大的養分,但我開始思考職涯長期的發展——這就是我願傾注ㄧ生熱情的工作?

回想起 7 年前,與朋友在大學時期做創業項目時的熱情、熱愛與不同創業者一起討論交流、熱愛研究不同產業知識和分析商業模式,那些都是非常純粹的快樂。與質數相同,創業者大多是孤獨而無法被複製的,尤其成功的機率更是天時地利人和,由數千百種因子加總而成,才能成就一個成功的事業。對我而言,研究產業、公司、創業者本人,去理解龐大而精密的商業世界運作的本質,這樣的過程與質數一樣讓我著迷。

幾經考慮,我決定放下在「網路業大廠」的職涯道路,重新追尋更有熱情的職涯選擇——加入 AppWorks ,期許成為一名優秀的投資人,與創業者一同成長。如果你對中國的網路業感興趣、對電商策略有熱情,或是想討論用戶成長的策略與手段,都歡迎來找我聊聊!

I have always been obsessed with prime numbers. Not only because of the uniqueness of each number but also because the pure prime number can lead to the complicated RSA encryption used in cybersecurity. There are four prime numbers that define my professional journey thus far.

Two Month Challenge – Find a Job in Shanghai After Graduation

In May 2016, while my friends and I were sitting around a saloon contemplating a social enterprise business model that could reduce food waste, we challenged each other to come up with our own 10-year plans. The more I considered my 10-year plan the more I realized I had to go out of my comfort zone to achieve it. Just one day after my college graduation ceremony, I bought a one-way ticket to Shanghai, a city that I had never visited before and had almost no contact. 

I gave myself two months to find a job in Shanghai. For the first six weeks, I stayed at a crowded backpacker’s hostel in an alley, sending out a flurry of applications, and hashed out my plans with other global travelers. This was one of my life’s most arduous yet edifying times. The rejections soon poured in. I was devastated and thought I may have bitten off more than I could chew, but I remained committed to the plan. Fortunately, after two months my intensive networking paid off—I got an ideal marketing job with a foreign-owned wine delivery startup called BottlesXO. 

Three Jobs’ Experience Focus on Projects Starting From Zero 

I love new challenges and finding solutions in ambiguous situations, especially validating different business models, and enjoy the adrenaline and sense of achievement when starting projects from scratch – that’s why all of my career has been in either a startup, or a brand-new project in a big corporation. 

From being the first Mandarin-speaking member in BottlesXO, the wine delivery startup, to joining the Mattel Group CRM program from scratch. At Alibaba, I joined the brand-new Tmall user growth team, which was previously integrated with the Taobao department.    

Five Years of Experience in Growth Marketing

Although I have been working with different titles and companies, my expertise is the same – growth marketing. I’m adept at using data analytics to uncover insight with different users, and A/B testing different product features to maximize user retention. At Alibaba, I was a Project Manager overseeing a 50+ person team with product managers and engineers in our department to achieve DAU/MAU targets.     

Pursue the Passion That Started Seven Years Ago

In 2021, my dad encountered some serious health issues, and at the same time, I was also overwhelmed by three years of overtime. I appreciate these years of experience in the intensive Internet industry, which empowered me on a big stage to try whatever I wanted to do. However, I was always thinking if there’s a possibility to find a “true love” job – which I would like to do for a lifetime. 

Like prime numbers, founders are unique and cannot be duplicated. The factor to determine success has thousands of possibilities, and to research and learn from this intricate business world is as interesting for me as the concept of a prime number. Looking back, I miss the days when I worked on an entrepreneurship project back in university, surrounding myself with the energetic founders’ community and cutting-edge technology. I wanted to start a new chapter in my career that enables me to learn more about front-end tech knowledge, analyze different business models, work in a dynamic and startup environment, and meet with ambitious and talented people from different backgrounds. That’s why I’m here – feel free to DM me if you would like to discuss struggles in user growth or are interested in the e-commerce sector!

Not So Much of a Fun Time with Recruiting Master Izza Lin

Izza Lin, Recruiting Master (林于荃 / 招募輔導長)

Izza is a Recruiting Master responsible for advising AppWorks Startups on all talent acquisition matters. Before joining AppWorks, she built a successful early career in headhunting firms such as Rising Management Consulting and Recruit Express, where she specialized in recruiting quality talents for internet and e-commerce companies, guiding hundreds of engineers, product managers, marketers and general managers to fulfill key positions for her clients. In between Rising and RE, she headed Southeast Asia Market for an e-commerce startup, USO HK, where she found her passion for helping small guys break the status quo. Izza received her B.A. in Economics from Washington State University and spent 5 years of her childhood in Myanmar and Cambodia. This diverse background has inextricably contributed to her love for traveling and “wine tasting”.

Don’t be fooled by the title. I am actually a pretty fun person. Just recruiting isn’t something interesting in general for most founders, but represents one of the most serious growth challenges they eventually have to face. Let’s dig a little deeper on why founders normally don’t enjoy their office hours with me and why I decided to step into a recruiting career. 

I spent my early years in Southeast Asia. Many of you would’ve guessed Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand, but I am that of those few third culture kids that grew up in Myanmar and Cambodia. It definitely wasn’t easy, as the only Taiwanese and only Mandarin speaking girl in the entire international school. However, having a unique experience like this, made me more relatable to what founders are going through, where you need to constantly step out of your comfort zone and maximize your growth to even have the slimmest chance of success.

After graduating from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, I could’ve got a job that is more related to what I learned in school such as data analyst or business analyst roles, but I became intrigued by this random interview I had, which would require me to become a headhunter. 

As much as I was tempted to take on this challenge, moving back to Taiwan for it wasn’t an easy decision. Like many kids that just graduated college, I was young, naive and lost. I was accepted into an MBA program and almost ended up going without knowing how it would help my career. However, after analyzing the entire situation, and also being away from my motherland for so many years, I decided to move back first and see where the journey would take me. 

Well, reality is always cruel. Soon after I relocated myself back home I found out that not only did l take a job with much lower pay than I could have otherwise received as a data or business analyst, I also had very limited knowledge on how to excel at it. The only thing I had was a belief that the job would eventually bring bigger value to my career. At the same time, I overestimated my Mandarin speaking and  writing capabilities, and how it would limit my learning and performance while working in Taiwan. My Mandarin remained at a lower level, but that didn’t stop me from learning. I  dedicated  an hour everyday to speaking Mandarin, and took notes in Chuyin (Mandarin Phonetic Symbols) without fully understanding the meaning of each word. (Jokes aside, previous co-workers would call me Queen of Chuyin). While I quickly improved in Mandarin despite some bumps along the way, my knowledge in tech industries and engineering recruiting grew a lot.

As I got deeper into the field, I learned that recruiting for corporates is so much easier than for startups. Besides the limited resources startups have, it is really hard for them to recruit on their own. This reminds me of school days, when we’re on a difficult path, we love to have someone who understands us, and offers a hand to help. My journey would definitely be easier if I had someone to help me during my school days, but the experience of figuring out things on my own, made me who I am today, and how I reflect on work today.

Office hours with me aren’t the most fun time for founders. I am a typical Asian tiger mom,  teaching and guiding others how to do things the right way in a very hands-on fashion. Maybe the past experience made me bitter, but it has molded me into the  exact Asian tiger mom that every founder needs.

Jack An’s Self-intro – Will the Builders in the Room Please Stand Up?

Jack An, Analyst (安良方 / 分析師)

Jack is an Analyst covering AppWorks Accelerator. Before joining the team, he was a co-founder and early team member at two InsurTech startups, where he developed a passion in user experience and product development. Previous to his startup journey he worked as a commercial property underwriter at Chubb Insurance in New Zealand. Jack graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Waikato University where he studied classical piano. He loves to cook, read and is a practicing stoic.

“Hi, my name is Jack.”

“What’s your real name?”

“An Liang Fang.” 

“What does that mean?”

This was a common exchange during my upbringing in New Zealand and probably very familiar to those that studied overseas. Out of curiosity, my classmates at middle school would often ask me to write my name out and explain the meaning behind each exotic character. 安良方 – 安 is my family name, and my father derived 良 from 善良 (kindness) and 方 from 大方 (generosity). I only learned the meaning myself when I “asked for a friend” and through it, I also learned that my dad chose these characters to give me an edge in standard tests because of how quickly my name can be written in Traditional Chinese – only 17 strokes! If you were to write Taiwan 台灣 in Traditional Chinese, the second letter 灣 alone has 25 strokes. 

Although the benefits of having minimal strokes in my name didn’t compound into great academic achievements – perhaps countered by the fact that everyone in New Zealand can write their English name in less than five seconds – but the values behind my name resonated with how Kiwis live on a day-to-day basis. 

People from New Zealand are generally quite diligent and genuine. Now looking back, I’m not entirely surprised that the #1 sport in New Zealand is Rugby Union, a highly-technical team-based game where no particular position is more important than any other. Everyone on the field must tackle their opponents and partake in rucks with players from both sides piling on top of each other fighting for the ball. 

These values of staying humble and working hard were particularly pronounced during my high school days at Tauranga Boys College where our school’s motto is “pergo et perago” I persevere and I achieve. We were also encouraged to honor the past by creating the future. I think these ideas were derived during WWII where 41 students from my school sacrificed their studies and ultimately their lives protecting the peace we now enjoy. To this day, long groves of trees that provide shade for our sporting field were planted along the outer edge in memory of them. Together with strong Maori influences (the aboriginal people of NZ) such as respecting the land, those around us, and those that came before us, are recurring themes that reinforce the idea that building forward is the best way to give back and show appreciation to what we have today.

My classmates Kane Williamson and Sam Cane took these words to heart and went on to become the captain of the Black Caps (New Zealand’s national cricket team), and the All Blacks (New Zealand’s national rugby team), respectively. And as for myself, I had my first attempt at creating the future with my childhood hobby – music – when the band I started during my second year in university studying classical piano took me around NZ, playing alongside the biggest acts in the country like Six60, Katchafire, Dave Dobbyn, and Savage. 

I continued to practice these values when I transitioned into business. My first corporate job was an underwriter for commercial properties at Chubb Insurance NZ. Then I literally “worked two roles while getting paid for one” as I took up an additional role underwriting for Accident & Health. These experiences became the foundation for my startup when I moved back to Taiwan in 2016. Running a band taught me about branding, creating a product and experiences for the mass public, and my dual role at Chubb helped me accelerate my understanding of the insurance industry. After traveling and living abroad for so long, Taiwan is still #1 to me with endless fond memories and loving people, so of course I had to start a company and build forward to contribute to the country positively. Looking back and connecting the dots it seems natural that I eventually founded an insurance startup in Taiwan and later joined AppWorks to create a bigger impact.

My role at AppWorks has changed a lot in the past few years. From working in the accelerator helping experienced founders land in Taiwan and new founders iterate their launch, to learning the ropes of VC and investing in Southeast Asia, and now dedicating most of my time to build out the web3 arm of AppWorks so we can have the best resources to back founders building the decentralized future. Although the work is difficult and challenging most of the time, it has been an incredible adventure where I’m constantly exercising my founder muscles working within the small AppWorks team of 30, the cherry on top of it all is the valuable experiences I gain from supporting and working with founders across various stages of their entrepreneurial journey. It’s hard to summarize my experience as a founder and my time at AppWorks, but if I can only have two takeaways, it’s 1) learn and improve; 2) design and overcome.

So yeah, this is Jack 安良方 now, a third culture kid that loves to build and support others that are building too. So, if you are creating something valuable, I would love to chat with you to find out how I can help you either personally or through AppWorks. Let’s make a positive impact together!

Seven Years and Still Counting – Ching Tseng’s Self-intro

Ching Tseng, Principal (曾意晴 / 協理)

Ching is a Principal leading the Web3 Arm at AppWorks. Ching interned at AppWorks when she was in college and returned as an Analyst after earning her B.B.A from National Chengchi University in 2015. Her keystone achievement as an Analyst was helping CHOCO TV’s journey from Series A to an eventual acquisition by LINE. Ching became our Associate in 2019, spearheading our foray into the blockchain industry by recruiting founders active in the space and effectively jumpstarting our web3 ecosystem, which has since grown into a thriving community. She’s also helped AppWorks participate in several prominent investments, including Dapper Labs / Flow, Animoca Brands, and Blocto. Ching was promoted to Principal in 2022. Off the clock, she likes to experience new things, travel, and drive in the mountains.

(漢文在下) It’s somewhat awkward to write a self-intro after joining AppWorks for almost seven years. To be frank, I probably wouldn’t have much to share if I had written this introduction in 2015. Back then, I had just graduated from college and was too fresh to tell you a good story. Over the past seven years, I connected a lot of “dots” and I can finally form it into a shape and share more about myself with you now.

My career path seems quite simple, but in fact is remarkable in its simplicity. I am someone who started as an intern at AppWorks and then became a full-time Analyst right after college. Gradually, I was promoted to Associate and now Principal. You might think my career path was “planned” and that I had a very clear goal since the beginning. Here’s the real story: 

When I was 20, I happened to see AppWorks while scrolling through Facebook and the intern recruitment post “looks rare”. Back then, I had a limited understanding about entrepreneurship and startups. My intuition led me to apply for the role. On the first day stepping into the AppWorks office, I found that I really connected with these offbeat and alien-like founders and wanted to help support them on their founder journeys.

A lot of people like to ask me: “How can you stay at AppWorks this long?” The only answer is: “It’s fun.” Jamie, the founding partner of AppWorks, once told me that I’m probably in the 99th percentile in terms of curiosity. Yes, I believe I am! If you have ever used my YouTube account then you can understand. My YouTube feed includes F1, dramas, aircraft, gaming, tech, musical instruments, and many other topics. Perhaps half of my life was spent on googling things that I didn’t need to know but wanted to know. AppWorks is a place full of unknown things and a company that’s always trying to embark on seemingly impossible missions. That’s why this place has retained someone like me who gets bored easily for so long. 

Over the past seven years serving AppWorks, I’ve seen many successful startups as well as some that didn’t quite make it. I count myself lucky as the company I joined became bigger as I aged a little bit. Most importantly, this journey has brought me a lot of friends that have battled side-by-side with me. 

I enjoy the time spent with founders; from brainstorming new business strategies and sorting out suitable fundraising structures, to sharing thoughts about the latest information and internet trends. 

As time flew by, our company grew a lot, and our mission became bigger. On the other hand, our North Star remains the same – making Taiwan a better place by helping founders to become better founders. To get there, we have accelerated institutionalization efforts at our firm, and within that plan, I became a Principal leading the web3 arm.

I believe in the beauty of blockchain and the impact protocols/DAOs/companies can bring to human society. Luckily, I can not only be an observer but also a participant together with web3 founders. This excitement was something I couldn’t feel when doing things in the web2/app era. If you are building on the blockchain, I’m ready to know more about your vision.

加入公司 7 年後才開始跟大家做自我介紹,是一件頗為弔詭的事情。但回頭想如果要我在 2015 年剛加入 AppWorks 時寫篇自我介紹文,可能也沒太多故事可以跟你分享,當時的我,也就是一個單純剛從大學畢業的菜鳥。在這過去 7 年來,我經歷了一些事情,也許終於可以跟大家分享關於我的一些事了。

往回看我的職涯,看起來很簡單但好像也蠻激勵人的。從一個負責打雜的 Intern、畢業後加入 AppWorks 成為正職的 Analyst,在 2019 年成為 Associate,接著在今年初成為了 Web3 Arm Principal。許多人以為這是我規劃好的職涯,又或者以為我心中有一個明確的職涯目標,讓我來分享一下這背後真正的故事。

當我 20 歲時,對於創業、新創還沒什麼概念,颱風夜沒事的我滑著手機,看到 AppWorks 正在招募 Intern,本來沒有打算要找 Internship 的我,突然覺得這篇貼文「挺特別」的。直覺告訴我:「你該去申請看看。」而後在我第一天踏入 AppWorks 的辦公室時,這群奇特的「創業者」深深的吸引我了。

很多人問過我,為何會在 AppWorks 待這麼多年。唯一不變的答案大概是:挺好玩的!Jamie 曾經說過我可能是 PR 99 的好奇寶寶。沒錯,如果你曾經用過我的 YouTube 帳號,你可能就會理解到為什麼。打開我的  YouTube,追蹤的頻道從 F1、飛機、遊戲、科技、戲劇、音樂等各種頻道都有。我的人生應該花了絕大多數的時間搜尋我不需要知道,但是我想要知道的資訊。

AppWorks 就是能得到許多未知的事情的地方,同時也是一間一直想要嘗試做一些不可能的任務的公司。這也是為何容易對事情感到無聊的我,能夠在這裡待上這麼久。

在這幾年陪伴與投資創業者的過程中,我看了許多成功的案例,同時也有許多結果不如人意。我想我是相對幸運的那一個,在我年齡增加過程中,AppWorks 這間公司也一起長大了。同時,這段旅程也讓我結交了許多一起經歷挑戰的戰友們,有些來掛「急診」的創業者,他們拿到了隔天、甚至當晚就要馬上回覆的併購機會,想跟我討論一下該不該接受,要注意哪些事情。在多數與創業者相處的這些夜晚裡,我是非常享受的,無論是一起煩惱公司的策略、討論募資的結構,又或者單純分享彼此對於業界最新消息的想法。

雖然公司想要挑戰的任務也越來越艱難,但與此同時 AppWorks 的北極星從來沒改變過,依舊透過幫助創業者讓台灣變成一個更好的地方。為了把這件事情做得更好,我們無法再像游擊隊一樣到處作戰,也得變成一支更有組織與戰法的正規軍。而我在這個計畫中,也變成了要帶領 Web3 領域的 Principal。

我真心喜歡並且相信 Blockchain 以及在這個圈子裡的組織們,能為人類社會帶來的改變。這次,也許我又是幸運的那一個人,能夠不只見證這一切改變的發生,同時也能與 Web3 的創業者一起參與其中。這種興奮感是比過去看著 Founder 們把產品與團隊逐漸建立起來,最終得到一個好結果還要更強烈的。如果你正在 Blockchain 上打造新產品,我非常期待聽聽你的計畫與目標!