Yu-kai Chou Personal Update 2021

It’s been two long years since I wrote my last update. Things were pretty crazy.

At first I thought no one would notice who would be interested in a random person’s annual update, but I started getting frequent messages from faraway friends about how they haven’t received their update emails for so long and asking if they were removed from the list somehow.

I think people notice when I fail to do things like this.

The past two years have been pretty wild (long but hey – two years of updates!).

Here it is TL; Dr

  1. I Moving my whole family to Taiwan March 2020
  2. twin girls Symphony & Harmony Chou is about 4 years old
  3. Consulting firm (Octalysis Group) and education platform (Octalysis Prime) is growing and doing well.
  4. I was lucky enough too Teaching my octalysis framework for yale and oxford. Google Scholar displays over 1,500 academic journals and PhD thesis
  5. Mine More than 100,000 copies of the book have been sold
  6. I spent some time Head of Creative Labs and Head of Digital Labs at HTCContributing to the future of AR/VR and Metaverse
  7. I started My NFT project is called Metablox With my business partner Jun Loayza for 16 years now who is from Google/Youtube. It was self-funded but recently a friend convinced us to take his $100,000 investment, so he thinks it might also open up a round of investments.

1. My move to Taiwan

In March of 2020, my entire family of 5 moved from California to Taiwan due to COVID-19. It was a surreal experience…we heard San Francisco would be closed at midnight. The first thing we did that morning was buy an extra freezer and stock all of the fridges and freezers with extra food for storage.

Then in the early afternoon, we wondered, “Why don’t we go back to Taiwan?” So We found a one-way ticket for five of us who traveled on the same night. We had 2 hours to pack on an unscheduled trip to Asia with nowhere to stay yet. It was like escaping from hardcore invaders – we grabbed everything we could to survive and didn’t even have room to grab some of the precious legacies we left in California.

I was very impressed with my family, because previously even on a three week trip to Taiwan, they needed a whole month to pack. This time it was all done in a couple of hours and before we knew it, we were on a plane.

Taiwan was great. It has been COVID-free for most of the time and has barely implemented any shutdowns. It gave me a lot of freedom, and since all my work was done online before the coronavirus anyway, it didn’t affect me that much.

Only the hours were hard. I’ve had meetings with clients from Asia starting at 9am, and I’ve also had client meetings in the US starting at 3am. Now I’ve learned to value sleep More and more (maybe because I got older too in my mid-30s…)

to whomever asks, I think I will be staying here in Taiwan for the next few years because I’m really enjoying it here. Later, I think it might be best to send my daughters back to the United States for their education – who knows what the world will look like at that point.

2. Being Twinning 4

My twin daughters Symphony and Harmony are 4 years old (on December 31st). Even though they were born only 20 seconds apart, it is amazing how completely different their personalities have been since their first 10 minutes in the hospital.

A symphony is fast at its feet and requires a lot of emotional attention. She is passionate about communication and has a high sense of justice.

She lives in harmony somewhat in her own world and loves to daydream very much. She doesn’t need a lot of affection and often pushes us away to do other things if we hug her for more than 3-4 seconds. She cares about being beautiful so much, she often tells you the opposite of what she wants but I still hope you find out and give it to her anyway.

I definitely use my knowledge of the game in raising children, and I have taught them many principles such as Choice and results (They have a sense of agency)Doing useful things (communication) instead of unhelpful things (crying), sacrificing to others in line with our religious beliefs, and eating healthy. (They now regularly use sentences like, “That’s a cake! It’s unhealthy, so I’ll only eat one occasionally!”)Expectation management (Don’t get everything you want), among many other principles.

I hope to nurture the right humans who will have a net positive in the world of the future.

Professional advice for parents: Most people know that counting up to 3 has tremendous power to get kids to do things (due to the emotional tension that builds up during those few seconds), but I’ve learned that counting down from 10 before they stop something relatively addictive is very helpful.

If I just turned off the iPad before they agreed to it, my twins would have a tantrum for maybe the next hour, crying and screaming because of this sudden drop of dopamine. But if I say to them, “Okay, I’ll give you another 10 seconds. 10, 9, 8, 7….” by the time I count to 2, they’re all mentally ready, so when I turn it off, they’re up and asleep.

It may not work for every child, but why not try it sometime? (if you have young children)

Overall, we are quite happy as a family.

3. The consulting and education platform is working well

Mine Consulting / Design firm The Octalys Group is doing well and growing. We assist a variety of projects in traditional industries (manufacturing, retail) for Metaverse companies, for projects such as Microsoft Edge.

Mine Octalysis Prime is growing too. My passion project has been with over 900 videos of my latest research and design methodologies. We have a DAU/MAU (Daily Active User over Monthly Active User) at 38%, and 7 out of the 8 Consultants/Designers hired by The Octalysis Group have exited from the OP. It’s literally the best stuff I can offer and the people who learn it end up using the powers of the Octalysis framework.

Here is a podcast interview that Professor Jim did with me that explains more about what Octalis Prime is.

I can’t wait for Symphony and Harmony to start researching all the knowledge of my life through Octalysis Prime.

4. Analysis framework in educational institutions

I have previously taught my Octalysis framework at places like Stanford, Google, Uber, LEGO, TESLA, etc. the past two years I have been very fortunate to also receive an invitation to teach my framework at Yale University and Oxford University. These are respectable schools my mind would never be able to attend as a student. But since I’m very fortunate to discover the Octalysys framework, I’ve had the opportunity to share it in these places.

When I published Octalysis Framework in 2012, I just wanted a good problem-solving tool. I had no ambitions within academia. But this year I also did a Google Scholar search and saw this There are more than 1,600 Ph.D.s. Thesis and/or academic publications creating work derived from the Octalysis framework.

I feel very fortunate that my creativity has been recognized and appreciated not only in the business world but also in the academic world.

5. The book has sold more than 100,000 copies

My book Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards has sold over 100,000 copies, which is pretty good for a “specialist” subject book. Some people in the Blockchain/NFT/Web3 world even described it as a must read.

What is very exciting is that in the first quarter of 2022 I am scheduled to meet with the head of a country known for its prowess in software development. No details yet but I have been told they are interested in making my book a must-read for all school students in the country. This would be great if my work was already making a huge impact.

6. Head of Creative Labs and Digital Commerce for HTC

While in Taiwan, through a church connection, I was in contact with Bashir Wang, HTC founder and CEO, HTC. Turns out she’s read my book too, so far I became Head of Creative Labs as well as Head of Digital Commerce for HTChelping their VIVE brand push the boundaries of VR and AR in the world and prepare for the next Metaverse (or Viverse).

after a while and Help launch some amazing VR headsets like VIVE Focus 3 and VIVE Flow, I still wanted to work on some other projects I’d been considering like Metablox, so I’ve transitioned into my role to help out their social media as an evangelist.

7. My new project: Metablox NFT

After seeing the entire NFT movement (as well as consulting projects) and how it might connect to the upcoming Metaverse, I began analyzing What makes NFT lasting value (hint: rarity, meaning and community).

The Metaverse is especially interesting to me because it is A unique blend of all my previous experiences: Games (since 2003), Virtual Worlds (since 2007), AR/VR (HTC VIVE), Blockchain/Crypto (I worked with Ethereum founder Anthony Di Iorio), and NFTs.

I wanted to take my past experience and see if I could create unique value and building blocks for the upcoming (and I believe inevitable) Metaverse.

Because of that , I started my own NFT project called Metablox with my business partner Jun Loayza who has been working for 16 years and he is from Google/Youtube. John and I met at UCLA, and over the course of 16 years, we’ve worked in a variety of businesses together, with some modest successes and some memorable failures.

Metablox NFTs are basically real-world places powered by real-life memories. You own real titles (we start with San Francisco), and upgrade them by uploading meaningful memories associated with them (so you can build a higher MetaRent).

The mission is to preserve the most sacred memories in the community, and I believe the longer the project, the more valuable these NFT items are because they are filled with generations of meaningful memories.

It expands the concept of historical monuments and sites as I believe that every site can become a historical site if people knew about the amazing things that happened there.

Legendary macro analyst/investor (formerly Goldman) and crypto believer Raoul Pal interviewed me about my Metablox project.

If you are interested in what I do or just want to support our efforts, You can check us out in our Metablox Discord channel (No obligation to acquire any NFTs)

Earlier, John and I were in the path of funding the entire project ourselves because fundraising is extremely time consuming and distracting (we are lucky enough to have such capital ourselves).

However, Contact from Jun. He convinced us to take $100,000 as an investmentso we thought it would be fair to We open a tour for anyone in our network who might be interested.
I wouldn’t use any propaganda language for this, besides saying so John and I believe so deeply in this project that we can throw our lives (and savings) into it.

Of course, if this becomes a huge success, then the first participants will reap the most rewards. But of course it can also fail and become zero, like any new innovative endeavor.

Let me know if you might be interested. Our working paper can be found here.

Well, that’s it! My two years of noteworthy updates.

I’d also love to hear what you’re up to because it’s been hard to keep track of friends, especially when my time on Facebook has gone down a bit.

Hope all is well and may God bless you!
Yo Kai Chou

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