Bill Hsu – My Path from Stocks to Startups and Web2 to Web3

Bill Hsu, Analyst (徐懿 / 分析師)

Bill is an Analyst covering cryptocurrencies. Prior to joining AppWorks in 2023, Bill was an analyst at Kronos Research’s venture capital arm, where he explored blockchain technologies that can create value for platforms, brands, and products. Before falling into the crypto rabbit hole, he had four years of experience in global tech stock research and investment, focusing on healthcare technology, fintech, software, and internet industries. Bill received his Master’s in Finance from National Taiwan University. Outside of work, he is a science fiction enthusiast and a dreamer, who aspires to travel to space on a nuclear fusion-powered rocket, live on Mars, and pay for everything with crypto. He even hopes to one day freeze himself to await the arrival of the AI singularity.

(English Below) 如果要用兩個關鍵字來形容我自己的話,應該就是好奇心與科技宅吧!喜歡看科幻小說與電影,最愛〈三體〉小說與〈黑鏡〉影集,夢想是搭乘使用核融合技術作為動力的火箭去太空旅行,在火星上用加密貨幣生活,若有機會,希望可以讓自己進入冷凍冬眠,等待 AI 奇點到來時再甦醒。


為了持續吸收科技資訊,我訂閱了周欽華的《科技島讀》,從 2017 年創刊一直看到了 2021 年的最後一篇文章,伴隨了我在國際股市的投資歷程。除了科技趨勢,《科技島讀》最特別的,是探討科技與人的互動關係,他在最後一篇文章說到:「不確定一直浸泡在科技中,是否反而忘了作為人的意義。」


這時候可以先插播一下我是怎麼接觸 Crypto 的。回到 2017 年 ICO 熱潮,當時 FOMO 投了一些比特幣與以太幣,泡沫破掉之後,2019 年開始接觸中心化交易所放貸,一開始只是尋求更高的收益率,但也開始思考這些收益從哪裡來?對於除去中間人帶來的價值有初步了解。2020 年接觸 DeFi,深入研究國家、貨幣、金融之間關係,開始慢慢著迷於去中心化與網路國家的概念。

到了 2021 年,許多不同產業的大公司,或是站在科技圈頂點的大佬們像是 Elon Mask、Jack Dorsey、Jensen Huang、Mark Zuckerberg 都在探索區塊鏈科技,深感許多產業會因為區塊鏈科技而被顛覆,又得知 AppWorks 開出 Crypto Native 分析師的職缺,想說時機終於來了,是該勇敢去尋找一份自己有熱情、又能創造影響力的工作了。


Hi, I’m Bill, and I work as a web3 analyst at AppWorks.

If I had to describe myself in two traits, they would be curiosity and tech geek. I love reading sci-fi novels and movies, and my favorites are “The Three-Body Problem” and “Black Mirror.” My dream is to travel to space on a rocket powered by fusion technology, live on Mars using cryptocurrency, and, if given the chance, enter cryogenic hibernation to wait for the AI singularity to arrive.

Knowing that I had an interest in both technology and investment, I joined an MA program and landed a job in public equities, focusing on technology stocks.

I’ve always felt that investing is like standing at the front of a train and watching where it’s heading. It allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in technology and capitalize on that knowledge through investing. If your predictions are correct, the market rewards you. Similar to standing at the front of a train, you will encounter both exciting and discouraging things. Investing is also similar in that your investments can bring great joy or disappointment. However, the train doesn’t stop and the market won’t wait for you, so you must continually improve your knowledge and skills to better adapt to changes.

In order to keep up with the latest technological advancements, I subscribed to Michael Chou’s “Daodu Tech.” which accompanied me on my stock investing journey from its launch in 2017 to its final article in 2021. What sets Daodu Tech apart is its exploration of the relationship between technology and humanity. In his last article, Michael pondered:

“He was uncertain whether being constantly immersed in technology had caused him to forget the meaning of being human.”

These words resonated with me and made me wonder about the purpose of my work and how it can have a positive impact on society. Although I attempt to persuade myself that enabling capital to be more efficient and seeking out undervalued assets is a crucial impetus for technological advancement, in reality, most of the time I am just following the market and price movement. The desire to do something more impactful was always hidden in my heart.

Now, it’s a good time to talk about how I fell into the crypto rabbit hole and why I decided to join the crypto industry.

In 2017, during the peak of the ICO craze, I invested in Bitcoin and Ether due to FOMO. After the bubble burst, in 2019, I ventured into centralized exchange lending, seeking higher yields. It was during this time that I began to contemplate the source of these returns and develop an initial understanding of the value proposition of disintermediation. In 2020, I delved deeper into the world of DeFi, researching the relationship between countries, currencies, and finance, which sparked my fascination with the concepts of decentralization and the network state.

During my last year in international stock investing, I noticed that many leading figures in the tech industry such as Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Jensen Huang, and Mark Zuckerberg were exploring the technology of blockchain. At the same time, I came across a job opening for a Crypto VC, which seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to find a job that aligned with my passion and allowed me to make an impact.

At a venture capital firm, I am still investing, but now I have the opportunity to stand in a more forward position, witnessing how those who build the rails are paving the way forward. My goal is not only to predict the train’s direction but to provide support to those who are at the forefront. Even if all I can do is cheer them on, I will work diligently from my position to gain a better vantage point, eager to see and help guide the entrepreneurial landscape towards greater success.

Johnny Chuang – My AppWorks & Web3 Journey

Johnny Chuang, Analyst (莊子揚 / 分析師)

Johnny is an Analyst covering web3 founders both in AppWorks Accelerator and AppWorks Funds portfolio. Before joining the team in 2023, he worked as a DeFi Strategist at Diamond Protocol, where he was responsible for portfolio management, protocol architecture design, and liquidity provision strategies backtesting. In this experience, Johnny successfully helped the protocol grow from zero to one.

Johnny graduated with a Bachelor’s in Finance from National Taiwan University. During this time, he interned at AppWorks and a hedge fund, and was the captain of the basketball team of the finance department. Outside the realm of work, he enjoys shooting hoops, working out, and losing himself in sci-fi novels and movies.

(English Below) 2019 年 5 月,出於對創投產業的好奇心,當時還在台大財金系就讀的我,參加了學校安排參訪 AppWorks 的活動,並在一個月後站在第 18 屆的 Demo Day 台下,看著台上的創業者閃閃發光。而這個基於好奇心而牽起的緣分,一眨眼就延續了四年到了現在。

那之前的我,深陷在財金系「實習至上」、「投行、管顧才是 Tier 1 工作」,以及身旁的人無不使出渾身解數,想在光鮮亮麗的金融產業中,謀得一份實習的風氣中,我過得載浮載沉,一方面從小在台灣重視學科教育的環境下,我逐漸培養出一種競爭者的心態,深怕在大學這個階段落後他人,也因此付出了不少努力,追求那些我並不真正想要的頭銜與機會;另一方面,雖然輪廓還很模糊,但我隱約感受到我真正感興趣的,並不是傳統金融行業,因此在大學前兩年,我過得十分迷惘。

參訪 AppWorks,以及實際參與 Demo Day 後,彷彿為我打開了一個新的維度。在認知到許多有能力的創業者,願意放棄普世價值所追求的成功,轉而從零開始打造屬於自己的事業後,我意識到人生其實還有另外一個選擇:靈魂拷問自己想要的是什麼後,不追隨任何人,開拓屬於自己的道路。

後來,秉持著對這條新道路的好奇心,我在 2020 年以實習生的身份加入了 AppWorks。在 AppWorks 的實習對我來說,像是經歷了一次個人成長的加速器,許多新的想法都在這個階段萌生,許多疑惑也在其中解開。過程中,我接觸了很多我從未想像會觸碰到的產業,像是印尼的 P2P Lending、台灣的社群媒體等,我也發現自己非常享受學習未來 5-10 年,才會映入大眾眼簾的產業,以及與創業者交流,了解他們創業各種決策背後的邏輯與過程。也是在這時期,我接觸到了區塊鏈及 DeFi。

記得第一次看到 Compound Finance 的模型時,我像著了魔似地瘋狂研究它的白皮書,並驚嘆其透過僅數百行的程式碼,就能創造出一個完全去中心化的借貸市場,基本上完美提供了傳統銀行所能提供的服務,且不需要任何信任、不需要任何中心化機構的介入。隨著時間推進,我開始越來越相信區塊鏈技術能為全球的金融,以及未來人們在網路上的生活方式,所帶來的巨大革命。也因此,在畢業後我走了一條和 99% 同學不同的道路:我以 DeFi Strategist 的身份加入了 OMO Finance 這家區塊鏈新創。

在 OMO Finance 的時間裡,除了執行各種交易策略,協助高淨值客戶進行加密貨幣的資產管理配置外,我也協助公司建構出 Diamond Protocol,一個專為 Uniswap V3 上流動性提供者開發各種工具的協議。創建新產品的過程中,我是真實感到快樂的,從設計整個協議的架構、撰寫白皮書,再到進行各種回測、分析,以及和 Founder 對於推動到市場的策略進行各種思辨,每一刻我都感覺到自己是真正活著,真正在 BUIDL,真正在為了推動去中心化金融付諸努力。


在見證了 2022 年諸多「黑天鵝」事件後,我開始意識到這個產業仍相當早期,相當不成熟。許多創業者為了賺快錢而採取極端做法,最後當音樂停止,一切泡沫破裂時,對區塊鏈行業造成的傷害,需要好長時間才能撫平。而回歸到 DeFi 產業上,投機心理造就了這個行業的原罪,導致如今大部分的協議本質上都是在追求「短期收益」,不斷地創造 Money Lego 並將其堆疊的行為,並無法真正乘載下一個十億用戶到這個應許之地上。

我開始渴望,能夠從更多面向去理解,並幫助這個產業中的創業者,我開始希望自己能在產業的推移演進中扮演一個更全面的角色。於是,伴隨著這些反思,我想起了 AppWorks。於是,帶著這些在區塊鏈產業的經驗,我回來了。

親愛的創業者,我是 Johnny,如果你也對區塊鏈技術有著非常深的信仰,並相信這個技術終將為人類社會帶來下一次網路世代的革命,非常歡迎來找我聊聊!

In May 2019, out of curiosity about the venture capital industry, I participated in a school event and visited AppWorks. A month later, I stood under the stage at the 18th Demo Day and watched the entrepreneurs shining on the stage. The special bond between AppWorks and I has lasted for four years and is still going.

At that time, I was deeply affected by the culture of “internship first” and “investment bankers and consultants are the only jobs that we should do” in my school. Back then, everyone around me was doing their best to get an internship in the glamorous financial industry. On one hand, as a student that received an education in Taiwan, I have gradually developed a competitive mindset that made me extremely fearful of falling behind others, and as a result I put in a lot of effort in pursuing titles and opportunities that I was not sure if I truly wanted. On the other hand, although the vision was still vague, I could feel that I was not really interested in the traditional financial industry. Therefore, during the first two years of university, I was quite lost. 

Visiting AppWorks and attending Demo Day opened up a new dimension of thinking for me. After realizing that many capable entrepreneurs were willing to give up the standard career track and start building their own products from scratch, I realized that there is another path in life, that is, not following anyone else’s footsteps, but to create our own paths. Later on, with my curiosity about this new path, I joined AppWorks as an intern in 2020. The internship at AppWorks was like an accelerator for my personal growth. Throughout the internship, many new ideas emerged, and many doubts were also resolved. During this period, I had a chance to touch upon many industries that I had never imagined, such as P2P lending in Indonesia and social media in Taiwan. I found that I really enjoyed learning about industries that would only be visible to the public in 5-10 years, and communicating with entrepreneurs to understand the decision-making process behind their vision. It was also during this period that I went down the rabbit hole of blockchain and DeFi. 

I still remember when I first read about Compound’s model, I was immediately drawn in. I studied its white paper and just can’t help but marvel at how it could create a fully decentralized lending market with only a few hundred lines of code, while basically providing services that traditional banks could provide without any trust requirements and without any centralized institutions. As time went on, I began to believe more and more in the huge revolution that blockchain technology could bring to global finance and people’s lives on the internet. Therefore, after graduation, I chose a different path that 99% of my peers would not understand: I became a DeFi strategist at a web3 startup called OMO Finance. 

During my time at OMO Finance, aside from executing various trading strategies and assisting high-net-worth clients with their cryptocurrency asset management, I also helped the company develop the Diamond Protocol, a protocol designed to help liquidity providers on Uniswap V3 with various tools. I felt genuinely happy throughout the process of creating this new product, from designing the protocol’s architecture, writing the whitepaper, conducting various backtests and analyses, to brainstorming the go-to market strategies with the founder. Every moment, I felt like I was truly alive, truly building, and truly working hard to drive decentralized finance forward. 

However, as my understanding of the industry deepened, I began to develop new values. 

After witnessing many “black swan” events in 2022, I realized that this industry is still in its early stages and quite immature. Many entrepreneurs have taken extreme measures to make money, and when the music stops and the bubble bursts, the damage caused to the blockchain industry will take a longer time to heal. Going back to the DeFi industry, investors’ speculative mentality has created the original sin of this industry, resulting in most protocols essentially pursuing “short-term gains” and constantly stacking money legos, which cannot truly onboard the next billion users onto this technology. I began to yearn to understand more aspects of this industry and help entrepreneurs in it. I started to hope that I could play a more important role in the industry’s transition and evolution. With these reflections, I thought of AppWorks and decided to return with my experiences in the blockchain industry over the past few years. 

Dear founders, this is Johnny calling out. If you also have a deep faith in blockchain technology and believe that it will bring about the next generation of the internet revolution for human society, I warmly welcome you to come and talk with me!

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, 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。


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。


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。


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。





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.