Stephen Zhang is a passionate entrepreneur, producer, and public speaker. He is the Founder and CEO of HYGO INC, a digital media company with more than 30 million followers online. HYGO creates viral videos and partners with celebrities, creators, and models to grow and monetize their audiences. Stephen is also the co-founder and previous CEO of IQX. This portfolio company controls over half a billion digital assets and works with publications to drive high-volume traffic.
Stephen has been in business for years, having discovered his entrepreneurial skills at a young age. He started by selling cookies at lunch and trading eraser shavings in class. He later learned how to code. Stephen’s dedication and hunger for success saw him succeed and earn a fortune at 13 years old with Google AdSense on a gaming forum where he coded from scratch.
Stephen later transitioned into creating content and social media marketing, where he grew an audience of over 20 million followers on Facebook. At the same time, he was creating “meme pages” that became the first on the internet. Stephen then established his first company from his dorm room at UC Berkeley. The company marketed and delivered traffic to publications and news outlets using the large audience he had created on Facebook.
Stephen eventually expanded to partner with celebrities, helping them monetize their Facebook pages. He later sold the company and established HYGO. With clear objectives and strategies, Stephen and the team re-grew audiences on social media and focused on video content. They started getting over 1 billion views per month, then monetized with ad revenue, brand deals, and eCommerce.
“We made viral videos for partners, and guaranteed them KPIs on views, traffic, and conversions. We had our own ecommerce store with thousands of products that we made tens of thousands of original videos for, to advertise the products. We sold the ecom business, and I went into tech and created a social media platform and a cyber security firm – both of them still in beta and now released to the masses. Although both have a lot of clients already, we just aren’t ready to go mainstream yet.” Stephen explains.
Stephen’s unparalleled work ethic and integrity, merged with honesty and transparency, have been his key drivers for success. Stephen believes that if you have to lie or trick customers to get the sale, you have built a terrible product or service. Instead, work on improving your product or service and give the client or partner something much more valuable than what they’re paying for. He believes this is the only way to achieve higher levels of success by giving yourself self-time to improve your brand. This is the only way to ensure you don’t waste time and resources chasing the next sale and getting disappointing results for everyone.
In the coming years, Stephen aspires to grow and help stop all cybercrime. This might be challenging as it would also require governmental and unified corporate change, which is unlikely to happen without a considerable movement. The internet is the new generation’s life, and there is a lot more to the dark web and online criminals than most people realize.