At 34 years old, David Chen became one of the youngest partners at Deloitte, after leading the creation and development of the Chinese Services Group for its Mexico branch and grabbing the “Standards of Excellence Award” in 2010 for a successful $1 billion merger. He has worked for Deloitte on more than 500 transactions with Fortune 500 companies.
After founding BLCP Capital with his partners in 2015, David Chen joined SparkleCOIN in 2017. David and his team “purchased several entities, engaged in several transactions, raised capital, and managed/developed the operations and mergers of several companies” while at BLCP. Meanwhile, at SparkleCOIN, which is a “blockchain and cryptocurrency company, David worked as CFO and VP of Business Strategy. He helped develop company strategy and saw the company become the first to offer cryptocurrency with “real world” uses for P2P and B2B transactions.
David Chen’s most recent company is GTIF Capital, where he and his team consult on eSports, technology, brand growth, among others. In 2018, he invested in the eSports team Faze Clan, eventually landing them a spot in a Super Bowl commercial.
Aside from his entrepreneurial activities, David Chen also speaks at conferences and continues his investments in eSports. In 2010, he joined David Meltzer, Mike Mumola, and David Moreno as partners at Mediabundance.
Currently, David Chen sits on various advisory boards, which include Faze Clan, MiCamp, Commloan, Tengri Holdings, Chosen by Doctors, and the North American Collegiate League. He also hits the hit podcast titled “Pandanomics,” which the NY Weekly named as the #1 podcast of 2020.
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Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
David Chen: This is my mantra: you need to find a work life balance that works for you. I talk about this in my Pandanomics Podcast, but It’s an absolute must if you want to avoid burnout regardless of what industry you work in.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
David Chen: For me, that person has been my fiancé Katie Scott, we have been together for ten wonderful years and while I have countless stories that could demonstrate how supportive she has been I think that I really have to point to her flexibility and support. As an entrepreneur, I don’t work a 9–5 job. Life can be busy, hectic and unpredictable but Katie has always been willing to work with me and support my ventures. We have moved from El Paso to Austin, spent time in LA, New York, and all over Asia, and the entire time she has been by my side working hard too.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?
David Chen: A good company is easy to define. A good company has a decent reputation, people are willing to work with them, and they have decent service. You won’t leave dissatisfied but you may end with net-neutral results. A great company is defined by their ability and dedication to go above and beyond the expectations of the customer. People want to work with this company and not only will you believe in what you are doing, but you do it so well, your customers believe in it too.
Jerome Knyszewski: What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?
David Chen: If your business or personal growth has stalled, there is a reason. Self-reflecting on the path your business of self has taken in the years versus the general current of what the meta in in your industry can help solve these issues and restart your business success. It’s common for business leaders to become stuck in a rut because as the times change, they are hesitant to change from their previously successful model.
Jerome Knyszewski: Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
David Chen: Focusing on the cost benefit analysis of the choices you make a business is really that most effective way to control and maintain financial stability. Being organized about your finances is paramount to the fiscal health of your business as you will know what limitations you need to place to not overextend you’re company’s abilities. Additionally, researching cost effective alternatives to costly procedures and staying abreast of market trends will always benefit you.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
David Chen: I think it’s a misnomer being “president” of a company. I think that when you’re running a company, many people are under the impression that your main job is to act as a figurehead for said company, however while representing the company positively is important, the real work comes with managing everything and learning how to delegate effectively so your company can run smoothly. It is imperative for a strong leader to be able to delegate to others and judge what they will be able to accomplish.
Jerome Knyszewski: Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?
David Chen: Knowing your client is helpful. When trying to close a deal or keep industry relationships for potential opportunities later, it’s miles better to reach out by asking how their children are or if they enjoyed their most recent trip rather than being the “it’s been 5 years how are you” guy. Maintaining customer relationships long term is the best way to create a “Wow!” Experience.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are your thoughts about how a company should be engaged on Social Media? For example, the advisory firm EisnerAmper conducted 6 yearly surveys of United States corporate boards, and directors reported that one of their most pressing concerns was a reputational risk as a result of social media. Do you share this concern? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this.
David Chen: Of course social media is a powerful tool in the image and audience reach of a company in today’s climate, at this point I think that’s undeniable. All companies trying to grow their businesses should be on social media and actively using it. To avoid snafus and reputation risks, it is important to know your audience and have a greater dedicated message that all of your posts reflect that align with your company values.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
David Chen: The most common mistakes I have seen is letting one’s ego get in the way of taking a great opportunity as they were not the one to bring it to the table. This hurts the company on all levels and the credibility of a company CEO or founder. To avoid this, remember the lesson from earlier that “ego is not your amigo” and encourage an atmosphere where when one person succeeds, all people succeed.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
David Chen: Thank you, it was an honor to speak to you. As for a movement, I’m not sure if I’d call it that but I host a podcast on entrepreneurship and life lessons called Pandanomics Podcast that was just awarded NYWeeklys #1 Podcast. I hope that the messages and lessons I teach there help shape current and future generations to capitalize on their personal strengths and differences that make them unique to succeed like I did.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
David Chen: Readers can connect with me by finding me on Instagram and Twitter at @DavidChenPanda, on twitch at FaZePanda, or by visiting my website. To learn more about my Mentorship course and Pandanomics Podcast you can find us @Pandanomicspodcast on Instagram.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!