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).


What I Enjoy Doing

  • Simplifying complexity so it’s easy to understand and act on
  • Sharing what I’ve learned with you (successes and failures), both for your benefit and for the reward I feel from helping
  • Seeing real impact and developing lasting friendships from our work

What I Can Help You With

  • Motivating your organization to take action
  • Defining and articulating a winning strategy and story
  • Building stronger innovation and design capabilities, including new behaviors, best practices, tools and organizational design


  • Stanford Graduate School of Business, MBA
  • University of California, Davis, MS in Electrical Engineering
  • National Taiwan University, Foreign Exchange Student


Recent Press



  • DIGSOUTH Tech Conference 2018
  • TIGER BALM Future Ready International Marketing Conference
  • SDxE, the Software-Defined Enterprise Conference & Expo 2017
  • BrandManage Camp 2017
  • Constellation's Connected Enterprise 2017
  • The New School Parsons, School of Design, Provocateur Talk Series, Featured Speaker
  • Front End of Innovation (FEI), Boston, Chair and Keynote
  • PDMA, Atlanta, Keynote
  • The Market Research Event (TMRE), Boca Raton, Chair and Keynote
  • FUSE, Miami, Keynote
  • FUSE, London, Chair and Keynote
  • World Class Digital Transformation, Portland, Keynote
  • Chief Innovation Officer Summit (CINO), San Francisco, Keynote
  • PI Apparel, New York, Keynote
  • Emirates Innovation Summit Dubai, Keynote
  • Constellations Connected Enterprise, Half Moon Bay, Keynote

My dad is goofy and drinks too much Coca Cola and I love him.
— My 7 year old son