Richie Zeng, Product Manager in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Richie Zeng

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 27, 2019

Richie has seven years of experience leading cross-functional teams to bring both software and hardware products to market. He is an experienced startup founder and product leader in the consumer electronics, IoT, and enterprise SaaS industries. With his software engineering background, Richie specializes in collaborating with software teams to design robust, scalable systems that serve the needs of today while planning ahead for tomorrow.

Project Highlights

Wearhaus Arc Headphones
Crowdfunded on Kickstarter and delivered to customers in under six months with a development budget under $500,000.
Wearhaus Music Player
Drove the business development with Spotify and Apple Music, and led the software team to integrate both into our mobile app.


Work Experience

Lead Product Manager

2019 - PRESENT
  • Collaborated with the engineering team to design a scalable architecture on top of AWS to support processing and visualizing large volumes of client data from various sources.
  • Drove product from a pre-revenue prototype to $1 million ARR in six months post-launch.
  • Led recruiting efforts for software engineers and designers to double the team size.
  • Integrated usage analytics software (Mixpanel) to empower the team to make data-driven product decisions.
  • Implemented and led an agile development process in Jira for a remote team of developers and designers.
  • Conducted market analysis, competitor evaluation, and user research to identify unique solutions to serve to win over large clients.
  • Developed wireframes and worked with designers on hi-fidelity mock-ups to maximize usability and speed to market.
  • Collaborated with outreach and client success teams to support live demos to potential clients.

CEO and Product Lead

2013 - PRESENT
  • Designed Bluetooth headphones and earbuds with wireless audio sharing technology and music streaming enabled mobile app to share playlists with friends.
  • Raised $4.5 million in Seed and ​Series A​ venture funding to execute on vision to bring “social listening” to all audio devices.
  • Led the conception, development, and release of two highly reviewed app-enabled hardware products under a tightly constrained $2 million budget.
  • Drove go-to-market strategy with brand positioning, digital ads, retail programs, and media briefings. Generated positive reception from global press like ​Today​, CNET, Buzzfeed, ​Engadget​, Techcrunch, and ​Unbox Therapy​.
  • Recruited and managed a cross-functional team of 14 including engineering, design, and marketing across the Bay Area and Shenzhen offices with OKRs and agile processes.
  • Defined top-level KPIs such as “time spent sharing” and “bundle sales”. Tripled metrics using growth strategies like user segmentation, A/B testing, and funnel optimization.
  • Guided the company through a business model pivot to exit hardware and focus on our software-based Bluetooth audio sharing platform. Secured technology ​licensing deals with audio brands in 2019 that turned the business cashflow positive.
  • Developed Android app with low-level Bluetooth SPP communication (headphone controls and firmware updates) and Spotify API integration.
  • Architected robust song-suggestion system combining multi-platform mobile, backend, firmware, and music streaming technologies.

Wearhaus Arc Headphones

Crowdfunded on Kickstarter and delivered to customers in under six months with a development budget under $500,000.

- Spearheaded the end-to-end product development process of app-connected Bluetooth headphones from concept to preorder to release within a year.
- Conducted initial customer research by surveying 2000, and interviewing 100 potential users in our target market (millennial music lovers).
- Prototyped industrial design with 3D printing and surface finishing methods. Worked with industrial designers to iterate on the design through user interviews and feedback.
- Drove creative direction for launch video on Kickstarter which went on to raise $250,000 in backer pre-orders.
- Led a team of software engineers to prototype and launch iOS and Android apps to control various headphone features.
- Oversaw the DFM and supply chain process in collaboration with the contract manufacturer.

Wearhaus Music Player

Drove the business development with Spotify and Apple Music, and led the software team to integrate both into our mobile app.

Conducted business development pitches to Spotify and Apple Music about integrating with our audio sharing headphone platform. Once receiving approval to use their APIs, I managed our mobile development team to integrate the streaming services into the Wearhaus app.

The key benefits we created for the user were the ability to view the music playlists, listen to them with friends using Wearhaus audio products, and collaboratively create music queues for the group.

The end result was a Sonos-like experience developed in under three months.
2011 - 2013

Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

UC Berkeley - Berkeley, CA


Trello, GitHub, Android Studio, Firebase Authentication, Jira, Firebase Analytics, Adobe, Sketch, Facebook Ads Manager, Facebook Android SDK, Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM), Advertising Tools & Platforms, Adobe Premiere Pro, R


Mixpanel, Firebase, Mapbox, Adobe Suite, MacOS, iOS 11


Scrum, Agile, Agile Product Management, Agile Workflow, Kanban, Waterfall Development, Rapid Prototyping

Industry Expertise

Electronics, Nonprofits, Music


Software as a Service (SaaS), Android, Mobile, Analytics, Hardware, Consumer Electronics, Startups, Agile Sprints, Python, Python 3, Consumer Technology, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), Mobile Apps, Product Research, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Internet of Things (IoT), China, Product Design, Data Analytics, Product Management, Virtual Work, Digital, Business Analysis, Requirements, Product Strategy, Product Roadmaps, Go-to-market Plans, User Research, Business Models, Product Marketing, Product Frameworks, Innovation, Product Ownership, Product Discovery, Product Delivery, Software Architecture, Software Design, Mobile Architecture, Project Management, Technical Project Management, Mobile App Development, Java, SQL, Data, Data Analysis, Android API, Android SDK, Adobe Photoshop, eCommerce, Digital Marketing, React Native, Cloud, MongoDB, API Databases, Business Strategy, Solution Architecture, Manufacturing, iOS, Vue, React, Adobe Lightroom, Industrial Design, Internationalization, Amazon EC2, Google Cloud, Integration, Data Mining, Machine Learning

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