Look at him. Look at that little blonde peanut-head who can barely climb a tree. That is the founder and CEO of WordUp Games. We’re doomed.
What would it take to turn a little squirt like that into a boss? For starters, I think it helps to be weird, to have an unusual life story.
Jordan was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in 8 countries: USA (including Puerto Rico), Brazil, Singapore, England, Argentina, Taiwan, China, and Chile. He speaks English, Spanish, and Mandarin. He had learned Mandarin fluently by the beginning of his sophomore year of college. This gave him a huge competitive edge in his career. He studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing, which is ranked China’s #1 school. Because of this, Adobe hired him to translate their first-ever web analytics lexicon into Chinese. After that, getting positions in Walmart-China and other tech companies became a whole lot easier. But being unique has not stopped him from jumping onto the cliche I’m-a-tech-entrepreneur-so-I’m-not-gonna-finish-college bandwagon. He is pretty close to graduating, and is still taking online classes because he does not want his son, Lincoln, to learn that it is okay to drop out of college. Will Jordan get his degree? Place your bets in the comments section.
Serious About Business
Another thing every boss needs is conviction. Jordan believes in the power of bilingualism. His motivation is to do a social good: to make people bilingual. This is clear from his actions, not his words. You see, Jordan believes in complete fairness and transparency within the company, so everyone can see his records and everyone know how much money everyone else makes. As the CEO, Jordan chose his own salary. He could have made his the highest, but it is among the lowest of the group. Jordan values his teammates and his mission more than he values money. (If you are a potential investor reading this blog, you should know that I value money above human life, so I will make sure our product will be lucrative, despite its benefits to mankind.)
Everything Jordan does is either for WordUp or his family. I don’t think he even has a social life. He did once say, “After working for over 6 months in a space with over 100 other people, I know about 10 of them. I give WordUp 100% focus every minute.” What a nerd.
Most importantly, a boss needs a good team. Jordan is a hard-working guy. Any time I call him, he is in the middle of working on something. He doesn’t have working hours. He has waking hours. Still, he says that finding the right team was the hardest work he has ever done. As he once told me, “For every person on this team there are, on average, over 100 professionals I’ve looked at online, another 25 I’ve personally talked to, and a half dozen others I’ve tried things out with in a couple week trial.” He has also said, “I went through about 200 portfolios of people all over the world to find the right illustrator for WordUp.” And this is easy to believe. Camilla is the perfect fit for this project.
His family is also part of his team. As the man supports the family, the family supports the man. His wife Fan has supported his every decision, no matter how many times they have to relocate, and his son Lincoln has been a good boy (that’s what 2-year-olds do to be supportive). Jordan has had to move his family several times. Due to his commitments in the northern and southern hemispheres he will have experienced no summer for two years.
Despite his unique background, his dedication, and his elite and supportive team, I would still say Jordan is not a boss.
He is a leader.
-Trevor Clive, Creative Director