Yu-kai Chou

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Yu-kai Chou
Yu-kai Chou.jpg
Chou speaking at TEDx Talks
Born (1986-05-09) May 9, 1986 (age 34)
OccupationEntrepreneur, Author, Lecturer, Consultant, Gamification Designer
Spouse(s)Angel Cheng
Children2 (Symphony Chou, Harmony Chou)

Yu-kai Chou (Chinese: 周郁凱; born May 9, 1986) is a Taiwanese-American entrepreneur, author, lecturer, and business consultant. He is one of the earliest pioneers in the industry of gamification.[1] He has been a regular keynote speaker lecturer on Gamification at organizations like TEDx Lausanne,[2] Stanford University, Google, Tesla, Lego, Huawei, Uber, Boston Consulting Group, among others.[3] Chou is the creator of the Octalysis Framework and the Founder/CEO of the consultancy The Octalysis Group and the mentorship education platform Octalysis Prime.[4]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Chou was born in Taipei, Taiwan. Because of his father's work as a diplomat for the Taiwanese government, he grew up in Taiwan, South Africa, and the United States. He received his undergraduate degree in Bachelors of Arts in Economics/International Area Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (commonly known as UCLA) in 2007.[5][unreliable source?]


In 2003, Chou started his research on gamification and helped pioneer the gamification industry.[citation needed]

In 2004, Chou started his first company, The FD Network, which connected professionals of various industries together to help each other through a gamified system.[citation needed]

In 2007, Chou co-founded Future Delivery, LLC., a company that focuses on gamified productivity and professional development. Its flagship project FDCareer, was rated on Mashable as one of the “Top 10 Social Networks for Generation-Y” in 2009.[6]

In 2009, Chou co-founded Viralogy, Inc., a gamified social media rank aiming to become a leaderboard of the top online influencers. It later launched the gamified restaurant and retail loyalty program RewardMe.[7]

In 2012, Chou stepped down as CEO of Viralogy, Inc., and published his Octalysis gamification framework on his blog to analyze and build strategies around the various systems to increase motivation and engagement. It was widely received, and his work was organically translated into over 16 languages within a year. Chou then started to speak across the globe and teach his Octalysis Framework.

In 2013, Chou worked for a company in Brazil, being the first to use the term Spot Premium.[citation needed]

In 2015, The Octalysis Framework was published into a book called Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboard. The book has also been published in Taiwan, South Korea, China.[8]

In 2016, Chou co-founded The Octalysis Group. The Octalysis Group is a premium design and consulting firm specializing in gamification and behavioral design using the Octalysis Framework. The firm served globally recognized companies like Porsche, Uber, Volkswagen, Microsoft, AIG Japan, Lego, Huawei, eBay, CapitalOne, Avon, Fidelity Investments, among others[9]

In 2018, Chou globally launched Octalysis Prime, a gamified education and mentorship platform to pass on his knowledge in gamification, entrepreneurship, productivity and behavioral science to subscribed members.[10]

Global Influence[edit]

It was calculated from all of Chou's work on gamification, his work improved over 1 billion user experiences worldwide through his clients at Microsoft, Lego, eBay, Volkswagen and more. Chou also advised many governments including Singapore, UK, South Korea, and the Kingdom of Bahrain.[11][unreliable source?]


Rated #1 among the “Gamification Gurus Power 100” by RISE in 2015[12]

“Gamification Guru of the Year” Award in 2014, 2015 and 2017 by the World Gamification Congress[13]

Rated “#1 Industry Project in Gamification” in 2017 by the Gamification Europe Conference[14]

“Gamification Guru of the Year” in 2017 by the Gamification Europe Conference.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Chou is an avid fan of video games since his childhood in South Africa. He also coached chess for K-12 students.[citation needed] Yu-kai converted to Christianity from Atheism in 2002 and has publicly declared his faith through his work.[16] In 2012, Chou married his wife Angel Cheng at Forerunner Christian Church. In December 2017, they gave birth to fraternal twin daughters named Symphony Chou and Harmony Chou.[17][unreliable source?]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Angelovska, Nina (2019). "Gamification Trends For 2019: Making Room For Game-Elements In Politics". Forbes. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Gamification to improve our world: Yu-kai Chou at TEDxLausanne". TEDx Talks. 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Yu-kai Chou - International Keynote Speaker & Author in Gamification". Udemy. 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Who is Yu-kai Chou?". Yukai Chou Website. 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  5. ^ Actionable gamification : beyond points, badges, and leaderboards ([Revised] ed.). 2015. ISBN 978-1-5117-4404-1. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  6. ^ Schawbel, Dan (2009). "The Top 10 Social Networks for Generation-Y". Mashable. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  7. ^ "RewardMe". 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  8. ^ Rogan, Kelly (2017). "Why Companies Need Gamification & Behavioral Design: Yu-Kai Chou President At The Octalysis Group". Social&Loyal. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Actionable Gamification". Google Books. 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  10. ^ Yu-kai Chou (2017). "Octalysis Prime - the Gamified Learning Journey". Kickstarter. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  11. ^ "The Octalysis Group". 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  12. ^ Beresford, Toby (2015). "Leaderboard - Gamification Gurus Power 100 - August 2015 - Gamification Guru of the Year award". www.rise.global. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Won "Gamification Guru of the Year" Award at the Gamification World Congress". 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Awards – gamification-europe.com". Gamification Europe. 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Awards – gamification-europe.com". Gamification Europe. 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Yu-kai Chou, Gamification Expert, Entrepreneur, and Follower of Christ". Finding God in Silicon Valley. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Octalysis Prime". 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2019.