Personal Information

Orbits Bio

Soon Yu is an international speaker and best selling author on innovation and design who has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and New York Times. 

His book, Iconic Advantage®, challenges businesses, from Fortune 500 to venture-backed startups, to refocus their innovation priorities on building greater iconicity, and offers deeper insights on establishing timeless distinction and relevance.  He regularly consults business leaders on developing meaningful Iconic Signature Elements, Signature Moments and Signature Communication. 

He most recently served as the Global VP of Innovation and Officer at VF Corporation, parent organization to over 30 global apparel companies, including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Nautica and Wrangler.  While at VF, Soon created a $2 billion innovation pipeline, established 3 global innovation centers, and initiated industry-leading design best practices.

Prior to this he worked at The Clorox Company and Chiquita Brands, where he won company-wide awards for best advertising, best promotion and best new product, and gained industry recognition from the Webby Award, Favorite Website Award and Dope Award. He has also been a consultant at Bain and Company, and a founder and CEO for numerous venture-backed startups (including Gazoontite, Promeo Technologies and TWRL) and was recognized as a Northern California finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

He is a highly sought after speaker on innovation, design and entrepreneurship, and teaches at Parsons School of Design and often guest lectures at Stanford University (where he received his MBA and is active with the GSB Asian Alumni Association).

Key Coverage Areas

  • Creating Iconic Advantage:  Don't just milk the cow, butter it up! Before chasing what's new, consider innovating what's OLD…Growing iconic brand and product franchises is a conscious and deliberate strategy for success, and requires strong and coordinated design, innovation, and marketing capabilities.
  • Motivating & Inspiring a Winning Innovation Culture: Making innovation successful starts and ends with people. For large matrixed, multi-national firms, finding a common innovation vision, language and action steps can be a daunting task.  Working with Chip & Dan Heath (authors of Switch, the preeminent book on "How to Change Things When Change is Hard"), learn how to develop a program to direct the "rider" (the analytical side) and motivate the "elephant" (the emotional side) to win with innovation.
  • Fail to Innovate:  How to make failing a competitive advantage. Everyone knows that failure is part of any innovation journey – but how can you turn this failure into a competitive advantage?