How To Kick Ass And Hustle Your Way To A Job (Or Your Own Company) – With Noah Kagan

Looking for the answer to being successful after college? Well, there isn’t one. However, there is one thing that will set you on the right path – doing shit all the time.

That’s what Noah Kagan did. In college, he created the website OkDork.com, started a entrepreneurs club at Berkeley, hosted multiple (profitable) tech conferences, did an internship at Microsoft, created businesses like Come Get Used and HFG Consulting, and even hired other college students as interns.

After college, Noah started an exciting career at Intel by telling the hiring manager that he wouldn’t be there in five years (the manager laughed and said the same about himself). He then went on to become one of the very early employees at Facebook, rubbing elbows with “Marky Baby” on a daily basis. When that didn’t work, he created his own trial by fire and landed a position as the marketing manager at the then-fledgling Mint.com. A few years and a few million-dollar Facebook games later, Noah is now happily working away at his own company, AppSumo, which is a sort of Groupon for software, apps, and business/tech education courses.

Here is my interview with Noah, where I ask him about his own college experiences. If you’re a student who’s trying to get ahead, you really don’t want to miss what Noah has to say.

A few quick notes about the video:

  • The audio on Noah’s side is pretty quiet for the first 30 seconds or so, but it gets normalized after this point.
  • Skype basically hated us, and Noah’s video crashed 5 or 6 times in the middle of the interview. Therefore, there is a gap around 10 minutes that I’ve filled with a picture of a cat.

Here are a few great takeaways I got from the interview.

  • If you’re not getting what you want out of something, stop it. Your time is valuable.
  • If you do traditional things, you’ll have a traditional life.
  • Just do stuff all the time.
  • Don’t make excuses. If you can’t do something, learn to do it. If you’re not smart enough, find someone smarter than you.

Now that you’ve watched the interview, get out there and do something. If you took the time to read this, then you’re the type of person that can go do something remarkable. Maybe you already are – if so, keep going!

From this point onward, I’m going to start categorizing my interviews as being part of a student edition or an alumni edition. The interviews in the student edition will profile students who are doing amazingly badass things in school, and the alumni edition will profile people who have done amazing things after graduation.

That being said, if you’re a student who is doing something amazing, then you should email me at [email protected] and ask to be interviewed. I, for one, would love to get to know you, and the students who read this blog will get amazing insight from your experiences. Sound cool? Alright.

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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6 Comments:
  1. I have once read about Noah’s biography and lifestyle at his fondest company ever worked with at facebook.com

    I love it when he said so much about people and folks that fall in three life categories which include

    1. hobbyist
    2. amateur
    3. professionals

    over there in one of his blog site

    • Probably on OKDork 🙂

      I would say there are some people who transcend professional status, though. True gurus – like Joost De Valk on the WordPress plugin scene.

  2. Really interesting guy. I liked a lot of the things that he said, especially when he said “what you learn at a big company is how to work at a big company”. I feel the same way at my internship now.

    • As do I – my internship is certainly good experience, but most of what I’m learning is how to maintain their systems. Luckily, some of the employees go out of their way to teach me networking concepts on the side; still, I won’t be working in IT after this summer.

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