On the occasion of his two-year anniversary at Foursquare, Director of Business Development Tristan Walker posted the very first email he ever sent Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai–way back when he just a green b-school student going into his second year at Stanford. IA Ventures’ Ben Siscovick reblogged it, noting that:
“In it we see a young, smart and obnoxiously hungry person *will* himself into a killer opportunity. If you are outside StartupLand looking to get in, read this then read it again – this is how it is done.”
If Mr. Walker’s path to gainful start-up employment is anything to judge by, applicants need not shy away from a liberal sprinkling of exclamation points, or the word awesome, or fret over an errant capitalization or two. “I spelled foursquare “FourSquare”…capital F and capital S….TWICE! (so taboo these days)”
They also have to be willing to send eight emails before they get one (tersely-worded) response. Oh yeah, and if Dens asks if you’re ever in New York, pretend you were planning on being there the very next day, buy a ticket that night, and fly out. After that, just thirty days of working for free and, voila, life-changing job!
Hey Dennis and Naveen
How’s it going? Hope all is well!
My name is Tristan Walker and Im a first year student (going into my
second year) at Stanford Business School (originally from New York).
Im a huge fan of what you both have built and excited about what you
guys have planned for FourSquare. It is an awesome , awesome service.
I would love to chat with you guys at some point, if you’re available,
about FourSquare. This year, I’m looking to help out and work
extremely hard for a startup with guys I can learn a ton from. Dennis,
with your experience at Google and the Dodgeball product, and Naveen,
with your experience at Sun and engineering in general, I know I could
learn a great deal from you both!
Before business school, I was an oil trader on Wall Street for about
two years and hated it! Moved out to the Bay/Stanford to pursue my
passion for entrepreneurship and the startup world. This past spring I
had the opportunity to work for Twitter as an intern and learned a
ton. Solidified my commitment to working at a startup that I’m
passionate about, and FourSquare is one of those startups that I
I know you guys are probably getting inundated with internship-type
requests, but thought it’d be worth a shot! I can assure you Im humble
and Im hungry! Let me know if you’d be interested in chatting further.
I definitely look forward to hearing from you.
Mr. Walker’s advice for folks who want “pretty cool spots at awesome companies”?
“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.”
Telling founders you think their service is “awesome, awesome” doesn’t hurt either.