Nick Vu


Launching integrated humane projects
Collaborate intimately :: Act with honesty :: Execute with style


Namesake Fragrance

Uncommon, custom and ready-to-wear fragrance.

Founder
2018 - Present


The Center for Sex Positive Culture

20 y/o nonprofit community center

Executive Director
2017 - Present


Bombsheller

Mass customization and automated just-in-time manufacturing for apparel

Co-founder
2013 - 2017


Next Special Education

Behavior analytic curriculum design and instruction for alternative learners

Founder
2010 - Present


Intellectual Ventures Lab

Gates-funded invention laboratory

Conceptual Translator - coached STEM experts to communicate outside their domain
2009 - 2011

Namesake Fragrance


Skills acquired
"Full stack" product launch - This project is an exercise in personally executing all aspects of an early stage business: ideation, prototyping, production, branding, marketing, sales, client acquisition and collaboration, growth, etc.Prioritization - Spending 10 hours per week at Namesake, I have to regularly evaluate the landscape and be clear about the most mission critical use of my time.Testing assumptions - Systematically identifying the biggest risks, quickly finding evidence, iterating accordingly.Creative development - Designed a production cycle to ensure prolific, but paced, artistic output. Shipping one custom fragrance per month, client chosen by bid.Branding - Defining and integrating messaging, visual language, and product design.Further info: Completed Y Combinator Startup School 2018; Namesake Website

The Center for Sex Positive Culture


Skills acquired
Culture building - Overseeing a leadership team that values speaking up, no drama, iterative improvement, empathy, and high integrity collaboration. We conduct frequent ego & bias checks, and are invested in each other's emotional wellbeing. Focused effort - Distributing weekly reports prioritizing areas of focus and most urgent projects, and facilitating coordinated decision making. Marathon mindset - Upholding personal boundaries and self care, and understanding which fires can wait until tomorrow.Growth mindset - Encouraging honest feedback of the organization and my own performance, framing even harsh criticism as valuable opportunity.Honed communication - as addresses become more frequent, whether to my team, board meetings, the membership, or the 15k mailing list, my composition continues to grow sharper and faster.
Scale: 2,000 active members, $15k MRR

Bombsheller


Skills acquired
Bringing a product to market - From ideation to 1000+ units per month, building a team from 3 to 20, and involvement in all processes along that path. Conducting 1-on-1s - I heard my team's concerns, helped them remove roadblocks, and represented them in high level decision making.Harnessing a niche community - fought internally for plus size inclusion, involved a marginalized local fashion group in designing a product that worked for them, and watched them become the brand's most outspoken evangelists.
Scale: $40k MRR, funded for $1M

Next Special Education


Skills acquired
Evidence-based decision making - According to ABA standards, classroom management and motivation, progress monitoring, collection and interpretation of student generated data, intervention design and implementation. Trained by a protege of B.F. Skinner.Content-agnostic instruction - There is a cadence to feedback, questions asking, and behavior modeling that maximizes discovery, engagement, and retention. I have used this to teach everything from hip hop dance to Rubik's cube to calculus.Compassionate interaction - Though I am paid for academic support, there are more important skills I hope to develop in parallel: emotional intelligence, self-awareness, curiosity. This involves accepting kids as they are and showing them how to cope with a confusing world.
Scale: ~500 students, ages 5-18, nonverbal to gifted abilities, 1-on-1 and small class.

Intellectual Ventures Lab


Skills Acquired
Perspective taking and question asking - Taking sophisticated, specialized topics I knew nothing about and guiding their authors to producing layman-digestible content.Outside the box thinking - I observed and participated in brainstorming sessions with Gates, Myhrvold, Neal Stephenson, and an array of world-class STEM experts to find unlikely solutions to big problems. I then worked with the R&D teams that turned ideas into products.Culturally relevant solutions -
Scale: Coached ~40 scientists and engineers. Prepared content for international media publications and broadcasts, including Myhrvold's TED talk.