Amy Jo Kim

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Amy Jo Kim
Amy Jo Kim speaking at The Next Web Conference 2015
Amy Jo Kim speaking at The Next Web Conference 2015
Nationality American
Occupation ShuffleBrain, Maven Ventures | VC & Incubator, Happify
Known for Game Designer, Entrepreneur, Startup Coach

Amy Jo Kim is the co-founder and CEO of Shuffle Brain, an American author and researcher on the subject of online communities. She has a background in neuroscience, computer science, and psychology; making her a game designer and web community architect.

She is noted for her influential conceptual frameworks for online communities, in particular the Membership Lifecycle that was presented in her 2000 book, Community Building on the Web,[1] a design handbook for networked communities. It is considered to be a "cult classic" (available in seven languages) and has become required reading in game design studios and university classes worldwide.[2]


Kim holds a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Washington, and a BS in Experimental Psychology from University of California, San Diego.

Professional life[edit]

Kim is the co-founder and CEO of Shuffle Brain, which is a company that specializes in early-stage design and product creation. The company works with clients to develop games and puzzles. Some clients that her company has worked with to help design and develop are The Sims, Rock Band, Bejeweled, and Covet.[3]

Kim was formerly the VP of Social Architecture for There, Inc., a virtual worlds platform and services company. She was also Producer/Designer for Paramount's Advanced Product Design Lab, where she developed online service prototypes for MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Studios. Prior to that she developed multimedia database interfaces for Sun Microsystems and NASA Ames Research Center, and designed signal-processing software for neurophysiology experiments. She is founder and CEO of Shuffle Brain, a company developing smart games for social networks.

Kim has been a designer of social games and gaming environments for clients like Rock Band, The Sims, Ultima Online, eBay,,,, and numerous startups.[4]

Kim is an adjunct professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts. There she is a Game Design professor and advises students.

Speaking engagements[edit]

Kim is also a keynote speaker, and speaks upon innovation, early product design, and cooperative gaming. In 2015 she spoke at the Next Web Conference Europe, and spoke about the seven habits that characterize breakthrough innovators and the three practical shortcuts to turbo charge the design process. Kim was a keynote speaker at Gamification 2013 held at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.[5] She presented the Players Journey Workshop.[6]


  1. ^ Amy Jo Kim, Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities, 2000, Peachpit Press. ISBN 0-201-87484-9
  2. ^ Shuffle Brain website
  3. ^ "Projects". Shufflebrain. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  4. ^ "About Me - Amy Jo Kim". Amy Jo Kim. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  5. ^ "Netflix, eBay designer, social gaming expert at gamification conference in Ontario". Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  6. ^ "Program and Speakers". Retrieved 2013-10-02. 

External links[edit]