Steve Jobs Shares a Secret for Success: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

In 1994—the year Apple co-founder Steve Jobs filmed an inter­view with The Sil­i­con Val­ley His­tor­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion in which he encour­aged peo­ple to go for what they want by enlist­ing oth­ers’ assistance—there was no social media, no Kick­starter, no GoFundMe, no Patre­on…  email was just becom­ing a thing.

Back then, ask­ing for help meant engag­ing in a face-to-face or voice-to-voice real time inter­ac­tion, some­thing many peo­ple find intim­i­dat­ing.

Not so young Jobs, an elec­tron­ics nut who relat­ed more eas­i­ly to the adult engi­neers in his Sil­i­con Val­ley neigh­bor­hood than to kids his own age.

As he recounts above, his desire to build a fre­quen­cy counter spurred him to cold call Bill Hewlett (of Hewlett-Packard), to see if he’d give him some of the nec­es­sary parts.

(In light of the recent col­lege admis­sions scan­dal, let us rec­og­nize the 12-year-old Jobs not only had the gump­tion to make that call, he also appears to have had no parental assis­tance look­ing up Hewlett’s num­ber in the Palo Alto White Pages.)

Hewlett agreed to the young go-getter’s request for parts. Jobs’ chutz­pah also earned him a sum­mer job on a Hewlett Packard assem­bly line, putting screws into fre­quen­cy coun­ters. (“I was in heav­en,” Jobs said of this entry lev­el posi­tion.)

Per­haps the biggest les­son for those in need of help is to ask bold­ly.

Ask like it’s 1994.

No, ask like it’s 1968, and you’re a self-starter like Steve Jobs hell­bent on procur­ing those spe­cial­ty parts to build your fre­quen­cy counter.

(Let’s fur­ther pre­tend that lying around wait­ing for Mom to order you a DIY fre­quen­cy counter kit on Ama­zon is not an option…)

Need an extra push?

Psy­chol­o­gist Adam Grant’s best­selling Give and Take makes an effec­tive case for human inter­ac­tion as the path­way to suc­cess, whether you’re the kid plac­ing the call, or the big wig with the pow­er to grant the wish.

Social psy­chol­o­gist Hei­di Grant’s book, Rein­force­ments: How to Get Peo­ple to Help You, explains how to ask with­out snivel­ing, self-aggran­diz­ing, or putting the per­son on the receiv­ing end in an awk­ward posi­tion.

And that shy vio­let Aman­da Fuck­ing Palmer, author of The Art of Ask­ing and no stranger to the punk rock barter econ­o­my, details how her “nin­ja mas­ter-lev­el fan con­nec­tion” has result­ed in her every request being met—from hous­ing and meals to prac­tice pianos and a neti pot hand deliv­ered by an Aus­tralian nurse.

Just don’t for­get to say “please” and, even­tu­al­ly, “thank you.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Steve Jobs on Life: “Stay Hun­gry, Stay Fool­ish”

A Young Steve Jobs Teach­es a Class at MIT (1992)

Steve Jobs Nar­rates the First “Think Dif­fer­ent” Ad (Nev­er Aired)

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Join her in New York City this May for the next install­ment of her book-based vari­ety show, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

The New York Public Library Lets Patrons Check Out Ties, Briefcases & Handbags for Job Interviews

Once upon a time, pubic libraries’ cir­cu­lat­ing col­lec­tions were lim­it­ed to books and oth­er print­ed mate­ri­als.

Then audio record­ings and movies entered into the mix.

Tele­scopes…

Board games…

There’s a library in Ohio that lets its patrons check out gui­tars.

And now, New York Pub­lic Library card­hold­ers can bor­row a neck­tie, brief­case, or busi­nesslike purse for a one-time, three-week lend­ing peri­od.

The New York Pub­lic Library Grow Up pro­gram at the River­side branch is mod­eled on sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives in Philadel­phia and Queens.

The branch is sit­u­at­ed across the street from two high schools, and librar­i­an Thad­deus Krupo told Crain’s New York Busi­ness that the pro­gram was launched in response to the high num­ber of stu­dents tak­ing advan­tage of the library’s free career resources, such as print­ed sheets of job inter­view tips.

Most of the kids from Fiorel­lo H. Laguardia High School Of Music & Art and Per­form­ing Arts (aka the “Fame” school), one of New York City’s most com­pet­i­tive pub­lic schools, can be pre­sumed to have a tie or two in their clos­ets, along with what­ev­er else they’re required to wear onstage for their var­i­ous con­certs and per­for­mances. They’re also being trained in how to present them­selves in an audi­tion-type sit­u­a­tion.

Such uni­ver­sal assump­tions don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly apply to the mas­sive Mar­tin Luther King Jr. Edu­ca­tion­al Com­plex next door. Stu­dents there tend to have a rougher time of it than their neigh­bors across 65th street.

While Laguardia coasts on its rep­u­ta­tion, MLK has nev­er real­ly got­ten out from under the trou­bling sto­ries left over from its bad old days. (Its orig­i­nal incar­na­tion was ordered closed in 2005 as part of sweep­ing city­wide edu­ca­tion­al reforms. These days, the build­ing hous­es sev­en small­er schools.)

Hope­ful­ly, the library’s teen patrons won’t seek to com­plete their pro­fes­sion­al look by check­ing out pants and pumps. The Grow Up pro­gram isn’t set up to pro­vide the full-body cov­er­age offered by like­mind­ed non-prof­its Dress for Suc­cess and Career Gear… though its bor­rowed bags and ties are cleared to attend prom and grad­u­a­tion.

via Men­tal Floss

Relat­ed Con­tent:

New York Pub­lic Library Card Now Gives You Free Access to 33 NYC Muse­ums

Med­i­ta­tion is Replac­ing Deten­tion in Baltimore’s Pub­lic Schools, and the Stu­dents Are Thriv­ing

100 Nov­els All Kids Should Read Before Leav­ing High School

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Join her in NYC on Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 24 for anoth­er month­ly install­ment of her book-based vari­ety show, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

Blitzscaling: A Free Stanford Course on Scaling a Startup, Led by LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman

A quick post­script to yes­ter­day’s men­tion of Reid Hoff­man’s new pod­cast, Mas­ters of Scale. Many of the con­cepts dis­cussed in Mas­ters of Scale expand on a 2015 course taught at Stan­ford by Hoff­man and his col­leagues– John Lil­ly from Grey­lock Part­ners, LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue, and author Chris Yeh. The course focus­es on Blitzs­cal­ing–or what Hoff­man described in the Har­vard Busi­ness Review as “the sci­ence and art of rapid­ly build­ing out a com­pa­ny to serve a large and usu­al­ly glob­al mar­ket, with the goal of becom­ing the first mover at scale.” And to help demys­ti­fy that process, Hoff­man invit­ed guest speak­ers to class to break things down. Eric Schmidt on Struc­tur­ing Teams and Scal­ing GoogleNet­flix’s Reed Hast­ings on Build­ing a Stream­ing EmpireAirbn­b’s Bri­an Chesky on Launch­ing Airbnb and the Chal­lenges of Scale–they’re among the experts fea­tured in the course.

You can stream the 20 lec­tures from start to fin­ish above, or find the playlist on Grey­lock Part­ner’s YouTube chan­nel. You can also find class notes for the course on Medi­um.

Blitzs­cal­ing will be added to our list of Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es, a sub­set of our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoff­man Cre­ates a New Pod­cast Offer­ing Wis­dom on Nur­tur­ing & Scal­ing New Busi­ness­es

Seth Godin’s Start­up School: A Free Mini-Course for New Entre­pre­neurs

Peter Thiel’s Stan­ford Course on Star­tups: Read the Lec­ture Notes Free Online

LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman Creates a New Podcast Offering Wisdom on Nurturing & Scaling New Businesses

How do you cre­ate and even­tu­al­ly scale a suc­cess­ful busi­ness? It’s a com­pli­cat­ed ques­tion. And you can do worse than get answers from Reid Hoff­man. He’s cur­rent­ly a part­ner at the ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Grey­lock Part­ners. But you prob­a­bly know him best as the co-founder of LinkedIn, the pro­fes­sion­al social net­work site recent­ly acquired by Microsoft for $26 bil­lion dol­lars. In his new pod­cast, Mas­ters of Scale, Hoff­man looks at how com­pa­nies grow from zero users to a gazil­lion by inter­view­ing fel­low Sil­i­con Val­ley entre­pre­neurs who have crossed that bridge. Guests include Facebook’s Mark Zucker­berg & Sheryl Sand­berg, Netflix’s Reed Hast­ings, and Google’s Eric Schmidt, among oth­ers.

Even if you work in a busi­ness with more mod­est aspi­ra­tions, there’s some wis­dom you can take away from these wide-rang­ing con­ver­sa­tions. Hoff­man’s con­ver­sa­tion with Airbn­b’s CEO Bri­an Chesky (above) about hand-craft­ing cus­tomer expe­ri­ences would help you run almost any busi­ness. You can find the Mas­ters of Scale pod­cast on iTunes, Stitch­erEntrepreneur.com, Spo­ti­fy, and Google Play. Also find cours­es from oth­er sea­soned entre­pre­neurs right below.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How to Start a Start-Up: A Free Course from Y Com­bi­na­tor Taught at Stan­ford

Seth Godin’s Start­up School: A Free Mini-Course for New Entre­pre­neurs

Peter Thiel’s Stan­ford Course on Star­tups: Read the Lec­ture Notes Free Online

Start Your Start­up with Free Stan­ford Cours­es and Lec­tures

Down­load Marc Andreessen’s Influ­en­tial Blog (“Pmar­ca”) as a Free eBook

150 Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es

Seth Godin’s Startup School: A Free Mini-Course for New Entrepreneurs

godin startup school

Image by Joi Ito, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

Briefly not­ed: If you’re inter­est­ed in entre­pre­neur­ship and mar­ket­ing, you’ve like­ly encoun­tered Seth Godin and his ever pop­u­lar blog. Or per­haps you’ve read some of his best­selling books? But maybe you’ve nev­er come across this: the “Start­up School” where Godin guides 30 entre­pre­neurs through “how to build and run their dream busi­ness.” On his blog, Godin wrote back in 2012:

I love star­tups. Not only do they bring the promise of rapid growth and real change, but every­thing is up for grabs. Orga­ni­za­tions that start with a clean sheet of paper have the dif­fi­cult task of pay­ing the bills, but they also have the lux­u­ry of ignor­ing yes­ter­day in order to focus exclu­sive­ly on tomor­row.

Through the years, I’ve start­ed a bunch of com­pa­nies and enjoyed brain­storm­ing with the peo­ple who have launched com­pa­nies big and small, from AOL when they only had a dozen employ­ees to some of the very cool orga­ni­za­tions that come through the doors of NY Tech­stars.

Next month, I’m going to be run­ning a small school–a few days for a few dozen start­up founders… For those that won’t be able to make it, I’ll be record­ing the ses­sion and edit­ing it down into some­thing I can share here on the blog for free a few months lat­er.

Below, you can stream those 15 free record­ings, each of which runs 18–25 min­utes. We’ve embed­ded the first seg­ment, “Free­lancer or Entre­pre­neur?.” Fur­ther down you’ll find links to the remain­ing ones, or you can get them on Sound­Cloud and iTunes. God­in’s “Start­up School” will be added to our col­lec­tion of Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es, where you’ll also find the use­ful YCombi­na­tor course, How to Start a Start­up.

1) Free­lancer or Entre­pre­neur?

2) Adjust­ing the Course

3) Cre­at­ing Scarci­ty

4) Appeal­ing to Con­sumers

5) Per­mis­sion and Trust

6) Rais­ing Mon­ey

7) Adver­tis­ing and Com­peti­tors

8) Mak­ing Ideas Trav­el

9) Com­pro­mis­ing

10) Tac­tics

11) Cash Flow

12) The Dip 

13) Build­ing The Truth

14) The Ship­It Jour­nal

15) Dis­tinct and Direct

h/t Eli

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Seth Godin: The Wealth of Free (Semi-Ani­mat­ed)

Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es

Start Your Start­up with Free Stan­ford Cours­es and Lec­tures

Download Marc Andreessen’s Influential Blog (“Pmarca”) as a Free eBook

Marc_Andreessen_(1)

Image by Joi, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

For years Marc Andreessen–the entre­pre­neur best known for launch­ing Mosa­ic and lat­er Netscape–ran a pop­u­lar blog called “Pmar­ca” (appar­ent­ly short for “Pri­vate Marc Andreessen”) where he dis­pensed wis­dom on star­tups, busi­ness, invest­ing and beyond. If you’ve worked in star­tups, espe­cial­ly in Sil­i­con Val­ley, you prob­a­bly fol­lowed “Pmar­ca” fair­ly reli­gious­ly.

Like so many oth­ers, Andreessen even­tu­al­ly took down his blog and began “tweet­storm­ing” on Twit­ter–all while serv­ing on the boards of Face­book, eBay, and HP, and run­ning his now influ­en­tial VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz. Before “Pmar­ca” could fade com­plete­ly into obliv­ion, fans asked Andreessen to pre­serve the blog for pos­ter­i­ty. And that he did. You can now down­load an archive of “Pmar­ca” as a free ebook. Avail­able in three for­mats (ePub, Mobi, and PDF), the archived ver­sion can be read in pret­ty much the blog’s orig­i­nal for­mat. Start your down­loads here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Peter Thiel’s Stan­ford Course on Star­tups: Read the Lec­ture Notes Free Online

150 Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es

Start Your Start­up with Free Stan­ford Cours­es and Lec­tures

Peter Thiel’s Stanford Course on Startups: Read the Lecture Notes Free Online

peter thiel

Peter Thiel has many claims to fame in Sil­i­con Val­ley. He co-found­ed Pay­Pal in 1998, before sell­ing it to eBay for $1.5 bil­lion in 2002. He lat­er launched var­i­ous hedge funds, and made ear­ly invest­ments in Face­book. He’s an unabashed lib­er­tar­i­an, a pro­po­nent of Seast­eading and Sin­gu­lar­i­ty, a crit­ic of the Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem, and the cre­ator of the annu­al Thiel Fel­low­ship, which pays promis­ing col­lege-age stu­dents to “stop out” of school for two years and launch busi­ness ven­tures instead.

Final­ly, Thiel is also now the best­selling author of Zero to One: Notes on Star­tups, or How to Build the FuturePub­lished in mid-Sep­tem­ber, the book received a pret­ty rave review in The Atlantic, where Derek John­son calls it “a lucid trea­tise on cap­i­tal­ism and entre­pre­neur­ship” and per­haps “the best busi­ness book I’ve read.”

The book itself is actu­al­ly a dis­til­la­tion of thoughts Thiel pre­sent­ed in a course he taught at Stan­ford in 2012. And it just so hap­pens that the notes from that course — CS138 Star­tups — are freely avail­able online. They come cour­tesy of Blake Mas­ters, a stu­dent in Thiel’s class, who lat­er helped the entre­pre­neur write Zero to One.

Below, you can find the lec­ture notes for 19 class­es, which, when orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished on Mas­ters’ site, became pret­ty pop­u­lar in the tech com­mu­ni­ty.  Links to these lec­tures will be per­ma­nent­ly housed in our col­lec­tions of Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es and Free Online Com­put­er Sci­ence Cours­es. Oth­er Stan­ford cours­es on entre­pre­neur­ship can be found here: Start Your Start­up with Free Stan­ford Cours­es and Lec­tures.

Lec­tures Notes: CS138 Star­tups

Class 1: The Chal­lenge of the Future

Class 2: Par­ty Like it’s 1999?

Class 3: Val­ue Sys­tems

Class 4: The Last Mover Advan­tage

Class 5: The Mechan­ics of Mafia

Class 6: Thiel’s Law

Class 7: Fol­low The Mon­ey

Class 8: The Pitch

Class 9: If You Build It, Will They Come?

Class 10: After Web 2.0

Class 11: Secrets

Class 12: War and Peace

Class 13: You Are Not A Lot­tery Tick­et

Class 14: See­ing Green

Class 15: Back to the Future

Class 16: Decod­ing Our­selves

Class 17: Deep Thought

Class 18: Founder as Vic­tim, Founder as God

Class 19: Stag­na­tion or Sin­gu­lar­i­ty?

For a huge col­lec­tion of free cours­es, please see our large and ever-expand­ing col­lec­tion: 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Start Your Startup with Free Stanford Courses and Lectures

Last spring, Ken Aulet­ta wrote a pro­file of Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty in the pages of The New York­er, which start­ed with the ques­tion: “There are no walls between Stan­ford and Sil­i­con Val­ley. Should there be?” It’s per­haps an unavoid­able ques­tion when you con­sid­er a star­tling fact cit­ed by the arti­cle. Accord­ing the uni­ver­si­ty itself, five thou­sand com­pa­nies “trace their ori­gins to Stan­ford ideas or to Stan­ford fac­ul­ty and stu­dents.” The list includes tech giants like Google, Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo, Cis­co Sys­tems, Sun Microsys­tems, eBay, Net­flix, Elec­tron­ic Arts, Intu­it, Sil­i­con Graph­ics, LinkedIn, and E*Trade. And stay tuned, there’s more to come.

Stan­ford is one of Amer­i­ca’s lead­ing incu­ba­tors, and the rear­ing of young entre­pre­neurs does­n’t take place by mere osmo­sis. No, Stan­ford stu­dents can take cours­es focused on entre­pre­neur­ship, which give them access to sea­soned entre­pre­neurs and financiers. If you head over to eCorner, short for Entre­pre­neur­ship Cor­ner (WebiTunesYouTube), you can watch “2000 free videos and pod­casts fea­tur­ing entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion thought lead­ers” who have paid vis­its to Stan­ford. Per­haps you’ll rec­og­nize a few of the names: Mark Zucker­bergLar­ry PageMaris­sa May­er? Reid Hoff­man (above)?

Or, if you go to YouTube and iTunes, you’ll gain access to entire cours­es ded­i­cat­ed to teach­ing stu­dents the mod­ern art of start­ing star­tups. Two cours­es (both housed in our col­lec­tion of 650 Free Online Cours­es and our col­lec­tion of 150 Free Online Busi­ness Cours­es) war­rant your atten­tion. First, Chuck Eesley’s course, Tech­nol­o­gy Entre­pre­neur­ship (YouTube — iTunes Video) intro­duces stu­dents to “the process used by tech­nol­o­gy entre­pre­neurs to start com­pa­nies. It involves tak­ing a tech­nol­o­gy idea and find­ing a high-poten­tial com­mer­cial oppor­tu­ni­ty, gath­er­ing resources such as tal­ent and cap­i­tal, fig­ur­ing out how to sell and mar­ket the idea, and man­ag­ing rapid growth.” The course fea­tures 28 video lec­tures in total.

Once you have a broad overview, you can dial into an impor­tant part of get­ting a new ven­ture going — rais­ing cap­i­tal. Hence the course Entre­pre­neur­ship Through the Lens of Ven­ture Cap­i­tal (iTunes Video — YouTube), a course cur­rent­ly tak­ing place at Stan­ford that “explores how suc­cess­ful star­tups nav­i­gate fund­ing, man­ag­ing, and scal­ing their new enter­prise.” It fea­tures guest speak­ers from the VC world that fuels Sil­i­con Val­ley.

It goes with­out say­ing that Stan­ford offers many world-class cours­es across oth­er dis­ci­plines, from phi­los­o­phy and physics to his­to­ry and lit­er­a­ture. You can find 68 cours­es from Stan­ford in our ever-grow­ing col­lec­tion of Free Cours­es Online.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Stan­ford Launch­es iPhone/iPad App Course on iTune­sU

Biol­o­gy That Makes Us Tick: Free Stan­ford Course by Robert Sapol­sky

The Stan­ford Mini Med School: A Free Course Now Online

The Art of Liv­ing: A Free Stan­ford Course Explores Time­less Ques­tions

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.