From two-time dropout to CEO — Tieshun Roquerre

Stay in school is the common mantra one hears early in life. Go to school. Make good grades. Get a good job.

It’s very rare to discover someone that drops out of high school at the age of 16 and MIT a few years later, especially a highly studious person.

But if dropping out of school twice doesn’t drop your jaw, then maybe being a Y-Combinator alum as well as receiving a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship grant after successfully founded — the premier domain registrar built on top of the new DNS protocol Handshake — just might grab your attention, a little more.

Today’s guest, Tieshun Roquerre, has an extraordinary journey imagined by some and not lived by most, especially to the heights of success and accolades that have been achieved thus far in only 5 years after dropping out of high school.

In a recent chat, Tieshun and I go back down memory lane as he shares how engineering a platform to hawk t-shirts led him to drop out of high school at the age of 16.

Tieshun also shares how he and a partner were accepted into the Y Combinator after launching a recruiting startup for software engineering teams to grow via employee referrals.

In addition, we discuss the inner workings, and challenges of birthing only weeks before receiving a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship grant, yet a few months after dropping out of MIT.

And if that wasn’t enough to wet your beak, we dive deep into the origins of Handshake, and how both decentralized and centralized web ecosystems could possibly coexist.

Tieshun drops nothing but nuggets of wisdom and insight about the Handshake domain auction process, including the pros and cons of becoming a registry versus a Handshake domain owner/developer as well as other use cases.

Whether you desire to buy and hold Handshake domains, become a Handshake registry, and simply become an HNS investor, this podcast serves as a good starting point to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of both decentralized and centralized web ecosystems.

Hit play and drop-in on all things Handshake with Tieshun Roquerre. Enjoy!


Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.