Former Netflix, IBM software program program engineer turned TikToker talks retiring at 30

A former software program program engineer is making a repute for himself on TikTok offering advice on careers, the tech enterprise, investing, and further.

Netlfix, Tiktok

Niu retired at age 30 after working as a software program program engineer at Netflix, IBM, GrubHub and Credit score rating Karma. (Frank Niu)

Frank Niu, a full-time dad who retired at age 30 after working at IBM, Credit score rating Karma, Netflix and GrubHub, which Amazon merely took a small stake in, tells FOX Enterprise that his Tiktok account was created in early December of ultimate yr to compete alongside along with his partner.

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AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 109.22 -2.53 -2.26%

My partner had actually started at Tiktok account. She had a pair thousand followers and he or she was kind of gloating about it, saying “Try it out. I’m so well-known.” Like rubbing it in my face,” Niu explains. “We’re every very, very aggressive people. And so I assumed, ‘Okay, you already know what? I am going to start my very personal TikTok account and I am going to beat you. Give me until the tip of the yr.'”

Inside three to 4 days of launching his account, Niu merely surpassed his partner’s follower rely. Since then, the multi-millionaire has amassed over 748,000 followers.


Niu, who grew up in a poor family, graduated from Iowa State Faculty in 2013. He landed his first job as a software program program engineer at IBM in January 2014, the place he was given a $74,000 wage and a $5,000 signing bonus.

“I did very properly for my group as one in every of many excessive performers, nevertheless after one yr they didn’t give me a promotion, which truly made me pretty upset,” he outlined. “I actually quit my job sooner than I even found a model new one.”

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After leaving IBM in June 2015 and dropping a portion of his money to day shopping for and promoting, Niu moved to San Francisco in hopes of working for a tech startup.

Though he secured a spot as a DevOps engineer with the tech company Dwolla a month after leaving IBM, the stint was short-lived as he was laid off in December 2015. All through that job, he earned a wage of $125,000 wage, a $5,000 signing bonuses and stock selections.

Two months later, he joined Credit score rating Karma as a senior software program program engineer, the place he was given a $138,000 wage and $100,000 stock bundle. Although Credit score rating Karma “checked loads of the packing containers” he was looking for in a company, he ended up quitting that job in Might 2017 to go run a cryptocurrency startup, which “went nowhere.”


As Niu centered on his subsequent switch, he and his then-girlfriend had been interested in getting engaged and settling down. The couple ended up shifting to Chicago the place Niu took a job with GrubHub in July 2017 as a senior site reliability engineer, incomes a $140,000 wage, a $7,500 sign on bonus and a $200,000 stock bundle.

“The job and each factor was good,” he talked about. “I obtained truly lucky with my stock grants, hit like 4x or one factor, so my full wage and compensation shot as a lot as like an insane stage.”

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NFLX NETFLIX INC. 174.45 -2.89 -1.63%

Finally, they decided to not preserve in Chicago long-term and have since settled down in Canada. Niu obtained a job as a tech lead with Netflix in April 2019, which ended up offering him better than $500,000 in full compensation. However, he reevaluated what was important in his life following a demise throughout the family and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Principally my whole reporting channel at Netflix from similar to the vp proper all the way down to my prompt supervisor was let go all through the span of like two years or so by way of the time I was working there,” he well-known. “And I obtained a model new supervisor who, as new managers do, shake points up. And he or she wished me to return again once more early from paternity go away. And I made it very clear sooner than I left that I was not going to do that.”

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NFLX NETFLIX INC. 174.45 -2.89 -1.63%

In October, he took severance from the streaming behemoth and started elevating his two children full-time. On the time of his departure, he and his partner had surpassed their goal of reaching $2 million in property.

“Money doesn’t buy happiness, nevertheless it buys you freedom,” he talked about. “I’ll give consideration to family or associates or my properly being or points that I care further about.”


Together with elevating his children and posting on TikTok, Niu and his partner have started a podcast. He’s moreover made his first angel funding with Beacons and has been requested to perform an advisor at plenty of startups.

Niu’s advice for anyone attempting to retire early is to work in a high-paying career meaning that you would be able to maximize your wage, job-hop typically to ensure you’re being paid the perfect attainable cost in your space, keep beneath your means and make investments your money.

For model spanking new merchants getting started, he recommends dollar worth averaging into S&P 500 index funds. To have the ability to defend your self from inflation, he suggests Sequence I Monetary financial savings bonds.

Niu moreover emphasizes the importance of not letting fear or negativity get in one of the best ways of attempting to be financially worthwhile.

“It’s the people I’ve recognized all by way of my life which may be the hardest working and have the very best ambition who’ve been truly able to grab a preserve of typical financial success and be the place they’re in life. And like, none of them made excuses,” he talked about. “Positive, there’s a part of luck, nevertheless you aren’t going to get any luck ought to you don’t try.”

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