I’m Ricky Yean. I get a kick out of “making something people want” and I love doing it with people I admire. My career roles so far have been the CEO because I’m best at doing whatever needs to be done to improve the business, with an emphasis on people, customers and products.
I moved to Los Angeles from Taiwan in 1999 when I was eleven and was fortunate enough to attend Stanford University on basically a full-ride thanks to the endowment. Stanford using their endowment to level the playing field was transformative for me in terms of helping me really discover the potential impact I can have in the world. I now live in SF / Silicon Valley. This is where I’ve met my lifelong friends and collaborators.
Along with my co-founders David Tran and Mark Linsey, we founded Crowdbooster in 2010. Crowdbooster went through Y Combinator’s Summer 2010 batch where we learned about startups and joined StartX in 2011 as an EIR company. We raised venture funding and the product grew as social media grew in popularity. Our customers included Nike, Redbull, JetBlue, the United Nations, Edelman, Ogilvy and Britney Spears and the product was often touted as a useful tool for measuring and improving your social media influence. My proudest moment was when I found out that Crowdbooster was included in college marketing classes, books like Facebook Marketing for Dummies and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing, and often included in the “skills” section of marketers’ resumes.
At the end of 2016, David Tran and I started Upbeat to build a tech-enabled public relations agency to help democratize access to the media. In two years, we helped over five hundred businesses get in the news and built a machine that help us deliver that service effectively and at scale. However, we decided that the business wasn’t going to scale like a technology company and discontinued its operations. Over time, I will share more about what I’ve learned.
Outside of my main trajectory, I love basketball, comedy, eating, hanging out with friends, and just generally improving myself. I’ve never thought of myself as a writer but people seem to like what I write, so I decided to make a site where I can put all my writing for better discovery. I mainly write about startups/business, Asian America and life. I also write a weekly personal newsletter. The best place to find me is on Twitter or email, and if you like my writing and you’d like to be notify whenever I have a new post, you can subscribe below. Thank you.