16: Discover and validate your business idea with Chau Nguyen



Chau has been an entrepreneur for 10 years. In 2005 he co founded Campus Special which was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US for four consecutive years. In 2014 Campus Special was acquired by a public company and Chau moved on to start his current venture, HireWire which is the first on-demand hiring marketplace connecting hourly job seekers to potential employers. HireWire has also raised 3.8 million dollars in funding to date to tackle on demand hiring.

Time Stamped Notes

  • 02:40 Intro
  • 03:48 Chau tells us a bit more about himself
  • 04:40 Chau tell us his dropout story and why he made that decision
  • 06:45 How did your friends and family react to your decision?
  • 08:15 How did you develop your entrepreneurial drive?
  • 10:11 How essential is it to learn how to sell as an entrepreneur?
  • 11:31 Advice for anyone to get their parents to support their decision opting out of college
  • 12:40 Chau’s biggest fear dropping out of college
  • 14:14 What Chau did the first several months after he dropped out (awesome story!)
  • 15:50 The start of Chau’s first company, Campus Special
  • 18:00 Overview of Campus Special and what they did
  • 19:50 How do you come up with a good business idea and how to you decided whether or not you should put time and money into it? (GOLD!)
  • 23:55 Minimum viable product
  • 26:00 About HireWire
  • 29:10 HireWire high level numbers
  • 30:48 Worst entrepreneurial moment
  • 34:11 AH HA moment
  • 36:20 What would older Chau tell younger Chau?
  • 37:24 Personal habit that contributes to Chau’s success
  • 38:47 Quality essential to being an entrepreneur
  • 40:36 Recommended blog
  • 41:37 Advice for anyone who is thinking of dropping out
  • 43:08 Advice for anyone who has already dropped out
  • 44:00 Best way to connect with Chau

5 Key Points

  • If you are an entrepreneur, you need to learn how sell. You will use this skill throughout your career.
  • You should expect whatever is it you are doing to be extremely difficult, harder than you think it’s gonna be, and it will take everything out of you because if it was easy everyone would be doing it and everyone would be successful.
  • If you just reverse engineer what people want, your odds of building a successful company go up.
  • Good things happen if you don’t quit.
  • Start networking and developing relationships as early as possible with people that are older, smarter, wiser, and more experienced than you.

Resources Mentioned

This episode is brought to you by Praxis

Go from student to start up in just 9 months. Click here to discover Praxis!


Thanks again for listening to the show! If it has helped you in any way, please share it using the social media buttons you see on the page.

Additionally, reviews for the podcast on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show and I read each and every one of them.

Join the Successful Dropout Nation!

  • Subscribe to the Successful Dropout Podcast.
  • Enter your email on the top right of this page for regular emails from Kylon Gienger on how to drop out, grind, and succeed.
  • Follow @kylongienger on Snapchat!