Meet Lina Chen: Gaming Creator who Went from Mailroom Clerk to CEO
Lina Chen has a three-letter personal mantra—FUN!—which also informs her professional life. Born in China and raised in South Africa, Lina attended Yale, where together with her best friend, they realized there was a void when it came to content for young girls—specifically in the world of gaming. After graduation the two moved to Los Angeles, hoping to explore “the center of creativity.” Like most people, Lina started career at the very bottom—literally in the mailroom of the William Morris talent agency. While climbing the ranks, she realized it was really the tech space that she wanted to seize, so she began attending digital conferences, which only further showed her how male-dominated technology really is.
Intent on making a dent in this field by creating content for girls, Lina and her partner took the bull by the horns: they learned how to code for the sole purpose of creating a prototype. With one in hand, she went back to her roots, to China, where she felt there was more capital for gaming and where she was able to connect with a Yale alumni, who took a chance on their product and agreed to invest.
Their first product was an app called Hot Guy Alarm Clock, followed by Egg Baby, which took the app gaming world by storm all purely by word of mouth. The wild success of Egg Baby allowed them to raise significant venture capital, which led to their next product, Egg, a toy egg that’s meant to be co-raised with another person, and hatches a slew of little objects that players can collect. Vision, hard work and clear focus on her goals took Lina from mailroom clerk to CEO, with a company that uses words like magical, colorful and friendly to describe their MO, and provides a platform of her own where she can playfully hatch every single one of her ideas!
4 Lessons to Take From Lina Right Now
1. In Your Pain is Your Brand
Lina and her friend (who later became her co-founder) found themselves constantly looking for gaming content—to no avail. Instead of lamenting the lack of content, they decided to create it themselves!
2. Make Fear & Failure Your Best Friends
In college she started a campus-wide television show, which she remembers as “a disaster.” But that, or any other seeming failure, never broke her stride, because she always knew that failure can be a tremendous springboard for success.
3. Take Every Job Seriously…Even the Little Ones
Everything, no matter how menial you think it may be, is worth doing well because you never know where it will lead you. Even though she was a mailroom clerk, she faced that job with pure grit and integrity every single day.
4. Keep Your Focus on the Big Picture
While it might seem grim to some, Lina has always given thought to the idea of death, and how ephemeral our time here really is. That reality is the ongoing impetus that keeps her eye squarely on her goals.
To learn even more about Lina’s work, visit: http://www.nixhydra.com/