Celebrity poker

Tim Ferriss has posted a fascinating tale of a contest he ran at Princeton as part of a class on entrepreneurship. He challenged students in the class to contact high-profile celebrities and CEOs and get their answers to questions they have always wanted to ask.

For extra incentive, Ferriss promised the student who could contact the most hard-to-reach name and ask the most intriguing question a round-trip plane ticket anywhere in the world.

“I believe that success can be measured in the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have. I felt that if I could help students overcome the fear rejection with cold-calling and cold e-mail, it would serve them forever,? Ferriss said. “It’s easy to sell yourself short, but when you see classmates getting responses from people like [former president] George Bush, the CEOs of Disney, Comcast, Google, and HP, and dozens of other impossible-to-reach people, it forces you to reconsider your self-set limitations.”

His technique is to hack the target’s email (easy enough in most cases) and then use a sophisticated personalized approach to get past their handlers.

Ferriss claims that “impressive networks are built one superstar at a time. It’s another case of working smarter and not harder.”

This technique is covered at length in his book The 4-Hour Workweek.

Go for it!

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