Joseph Lau attended Mountain View High School. He graduated on to Stanford University where he studied computer science and earned his Master's with a concentration in human–computer interaction. He was very active at Stanford, participating in the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Technology and Education Connecting Cultures, Undergraduate Chinese American Association, and the Fellowship in Christ at Stanford. 
Lau was a student researcher/consultant at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford for a few months. His next gig was at LinkedIn as a software engineer intern where he developed the member invitation feature for LinkedIn Groups all the way to release. He spent nearly two years as a CS198 section leader at Stanford University, personally assisting students with problem solving and debugging, and teaching introductory programming methodology in Java and C++. Lau then interned at Google for a quick stint before returning to academia and working as a teaching assistant at Stanford University. 
After school Lau moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area and got a job as a software engineer at Pinterest. Not too long afterwards he co-founded the popular social hangout app Down To Lunch alongside Nikil Viswanathan. In September of 2017, Lau co-founded leading blockchain development platform Alchemy with his good friend Nikil.