Who is Yu-kai Chou?

Gamification Expert

Yu-kai Chou is an Author and International Keynote Speaker on Gamification and Behavioral Design. He is the Original Creator of the Octalysis Framework for Behavioral Design , and the author of Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. He is currently President of The Octalysis Group, and has been a regular speaker/lecturer on gamification and motivation worldwide, including at organizations like Google, Tesla, Stanford University, LEGO, TEDx, SxSW, Gamified India, Huawei, the Innovation Center in Denmark, Kingdom of Bahrain government, and many more.

Yu-kai was one of the earliest pioneers in Gamification, starting his work in the industry in 2003. In 2015, Yu-kai was rated #1 among the “Gamification Gurus Power 100” by RISE, and was also awarded “Gamification Guru of the Year Award” for both 2014 and 2015 by the World Gamification Congress based in Europe.  He has helped a variety of companies, from seed stage startups to Fortune 500 companies such as LEGO, Accenture, eBay, Huawei, Fidelity, AIG Japan, Verizon, HP, Ericsson, Cisco, Wells Fargo, and more. His work has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider,The World Journal, PBS, NBC, and many more.

Yu-kai is a Board Advisor for many organizations and companies through out North America, Europe, and Asia, including HatchPad.co (crowdfunding site for young entrepreneurs), Capfields (IT Sourcing company based in Luxembourg), DreamsCloud (biggest company that gathers dreams), Ongo (gamified health platform), BALANCE Edutainment (creators of Pacha’s Pajamas), Loki Studios (creators of Geomon and sold to a Yahoo), The Catch (Gamified Dating Site), Lucky Diem, and many more.

Yu-kai is a follower of Christ, and his other hobbies include playing/teaching chess, writing/playing string quartet pieces, writing Chinese novels, rating high quality movies, though he rarely has time for these hobbies.

“Yu-kai is at the cutting edge of the field of behavior design.”
               -Nir Eyal, Author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.

“Yu-kai’s reputation precedes him in the field of gamification, so I know him professionally before I know him personally. Professionally he’s as efficient and effective as a black hat hacker. But personally, he’s as kind and passionate as a white hat artist. Yu-kai himself is the perfect embodiment of his octalysis framework. You may have only seen some aspect of him; but believe me, he has all 8 sides of the octagon, plus the center—he’s sensational.”
               -Michael Wu, Chief Scientist @ Lithium Technologies

73 thoughts on “Who is Yu-kai Chou?”

  1. @vichu Well, it depends on what you want to do with gamification? It’s like asking how much does it cost to introduce a game? If it is hide and seek, no money at all. If it is World of Warcraft, MILLIONS!

  2. Dear http://www.livefyre.com/profile/8191368/,

    First of all thanking you for providing such a wonderful platform. As a retailer i would like to know a general insight on the costs of gamification. It is said that the market is about 450 million dollars now, eagerly wanted to know the future.!

  3. Hey Yu-kai, your content on Gamification is amazing and inspiring — it was the inspiration for Reputation Hacks and the Beginner’s Guide to Reputation Management.  Keep them videos coming!  They’re very entertaining and educational.
    Secret code: Yu-kai dances on the 16th beat

    1. @kymmster Hey Kymmster. Thanks for being supportive and taking interest in my video sereis. I take A LOT of time to make them.
       
      Unfortunately, Youtube took this one down, AND I broke my computer at the Airport Security Check in Geneva, losing the original files too…so Episode 3 is forever lost (unless Youtube can give a copy back to me) :-(I’ll have to remake that episode one day if not. So sorry for that….

  4. Hey Yu-kai, my name is Kalimah Priforce, Co-Founder at Qykno, a Careerspotting 4 Kids platform that makes career exploration into a game for 13-17 year olds. A friend of mine, Karla Parker, met you last night and she mentioned that you worked on something similar a couple of years ago. Would love to learn more.

  5. lol, I recently uninstalled SC2 because I found myself playing it for 4 hours a day instead of working on my startup! I had to give up Husky and Psy too 🙁 But, I think it’s for the best!

  6. If you come to Portland, I would enjoy meeting with you to discuss marketing and opportunities. I am a believer in helping others be successful. It is hard to reach your goals without the help of others; it is harder to reach your goals without ever helping others reach their goals. Sometimes you must believe in others more than they believe in themselves.

    Davin

  7. Hi Yu-Kai,

    I wanted to attend the event on July 20th (part of CINA Social Media SIG; Fenwick & West). However, I’m in Seattle for the Casual Connect conference so wanted to find out when you may be hosting your next event? Thank you in advance for your response!

    – James

  8. Thanks Victor for your encouragement to me too! I’m glad I’m making an impact with my blog. Feel free to let me know if I can ever help you with anything.

  9. Helow out there.i couldn’t resist it feeling the burning passion coming back to me once again.i am a student and a young music producer though i do a lot of things extra.i had started loosing focus in my long term process and when i passed by here i felt the motivation i need. You are realy inspiring and visiting you once has made such a big difference in my life.thank you and havd a prosperous life.

  10. Hey,
    You seem interesting. I found your article because as I’m reading for my college class I stopped to think, how come most Asian people in know are so smart and get good grades. I know I probably shouldn’t think that but I did for a minute and then Googled it:)
    Anyways I’m from Panama, came here when I was seven and now years later I’m finally realizing the importance of education. I’m so blessed to be in the states and that I’m really able to be anything I want. Your focus on education is awesome.
    I pray you will be blessed:)
    Heydi

  11. Hey man,

    Just stumbled upon this site while trying to find the FD career site. After switching to a mac last year, I lost track of my old book marks. Good to see that things seem to be kicking up! I’ll be hopping on the Chou stream in a minute =)

    Take care!
    Judith

  12. Hello Matt,

    Thanks for the awesome kind comment!

    Here’s what I have to say to you:
    I sounds like you are still going to school. First of I will tell you that there’s no better time to start a business (don’t wait until you have a lot of savings in your bank account and are 45 years old…) because you have the least to lose and so much to gain. At worse, you have something on your resume that helps you stand out.

    With that said, being an entrepreneur is really about people skills and time management. You don’t need to have a lot of money to hire web designers, CPAs, etc etc. What you need to do is to make people want to work with you. I’m sure you have friends who are talented in a lot of areas, and the point of a leader/entrepreneur is to bring people to your vision. Giving them a part of the company really helps, but if you make the whole experience meaningful and exciting enough, people will want to volunteer for great opportunities.

    Juggling with time is the most difficult. You have to seriously be extremely motivated. You need to quite all your activities that don’t matter 5 years from now. Would watching this TV show make your life better 5 years from now? Would making new friends matter to your life 5 years from now (YES!), you need to use your time most efficiently. If you are working too, make sure the money you make are put into things that matter. Also, make sure you are learning as much as you can from it. You don’t need to be a CPA to do your accounting. You can learn a lot of it by yourself. If you go to “My Library’ on my blog, you can see a Start-up kit that introduces you to tools that do your accounting for free, and easy ways to set up your company structure for a little amount of money.

    Finally, I want to say that when you start your company, focus on tasks that make your company more valuable. Registering your licenses, printing cool business cards, making a cool logo is fun/cool and stuff, but in the early stages it does nothing to help you get closer to success. I would say focus on that.

    Let me know if you need any sort of help/advice. Send me an email and we’ll talk more 🙂

  13. you’re inspiring
    i’ve had ideas for small businesses floating around my head for a bit last year and tried to get a little free consulting from the SBA but it fluttered away in the hustle and bustle of life, work, school, etc. I just feel like I didn’t have enough positive influences (for business/entrepreneur stuff) or people who could help me.
    I figure that I’ll try to get some more education on the subject before I go back to it. and I never felt I had the capital to hire a web designer, a CPA, a partner, etc. i guess it takes a special type of person. I’m not going to give up, it’s just that i’ve felt like i’ve never had enough hours in the day.
    you are inspiring, though

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