A little over two years ago, Tristan Walker, a soon-to-be second year Stanford Business School student, had an idea. He wanted to get a job working for the popular location based service, foursquare. He took a gamble and decided to write an email directly to the founders, Dens Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai. It took Tristan eight emails before Dens offered to meet him in New York. Tristan lied and said that he would be in NYC the next day, but he actually had to book a flight from Los Angeles to be there for the meeting.
a lot of folks ask me how Ive been able to secure some pretty cool spots at awesome companies and my answer is always the same. “be so enamored with the product that you would work for the company even if they didnt hire you….more importantly find where the needs are within the organization and be willing to do whatever it takes to help them fill the need (work for free even!)…and MOST importantly make sure that youre filling a need that the organization doesnt have the resources to fill on its own. If a company is not willing to let a hungry, passionate, smart, unpaid advocate of the product help the organization to fill that need (when it doesnt have the resources to do it itself) then you probably shouldnt be working at the company anyway. They’re just being arrogant”…Dennis and Naveen made pretty clear that their passion was with product (and theyre the best in the world at it). I knew i could help them (without much guidance and hand holding) to think through the business opportunities / potential for foursquare. And i did it for free (for 30 days at least :)). I gained their trust, which was most important. The past two years for me have been nothing short of amazing. Dennis/Naveen didnt have to but they gave me a shot and really did change my life. I owe those guys a ton and im truly appreciative of it all. Now, back to work…. :)
Tristan became Business Development VP for foursquare. He proved that persistence can get you very far. You can find his original email to the foursquare founders on his blog. It's a fun a read.
Do you know anyone who got a job from not giving up?
Photo from LinkedIn