Ten questions with the founder of Taiwan education technology company Hahow.
The News Lens
By: Yuan-ling Liang
The education system in Taiwan, as in much of Asia, is notorious for its rigidity. Students often struggle to find the time to explore different possibilities and subsequently find themselves in jobs they don’t have a passion for. Hahow founder Arnold Chiang (江前緯) explains what his company is doing to change that by crowdfunding hundreds of new courses for thousands of learners.
The News Lens International (TNLI): What is the origin of Hahow and when did you come up with the idea for the business?
Arnold Chiang: Throughout the journey of learning, there is a notable barrier for people like us, who long for an interdisciplinary experience. As students in Taiwan, once we choose a specific major in college, we tend to only be on the same path for at least 30 years. This brings out a problem that we don’t have a positive mentality to explore or be able to chase what we love. We all have those little ideas in our minds that could brighten up our lives. Hence, it is very important to create a friendly environment for people who want to learn different skills just for fun and to think out of box. We believed it could be accomplished by the power of technology and creativity. We’ve been through trials and errors. With the philosophy of a lean startup, we built a relatively small-scale platform at National Taiwan University (NTU) for people to learn new things by exchanging. The platform was called Skillhopping, which is the predecessor of Hahow, and it gained 3,000-plus users in two months without any marketing. [FULL INTERVIEW]