Meet Andrew Chen: How to Be Successful in Silicon Valley

Meet Andrew Chen: How to Be Successful in Silicon Valley

Andrew Chen is one of the most well-known and respected executives in Silicon Valley.

His experience is a laundry list of keeping it 💯

  • Head of Rider Growth at Uber
  • Investor and advisor to big-name tech companies like AngelList, Dropbox, and more
  • Main advisor to Sumo and AppSumo

F yeah, Andrew. And as a close friend of mine, I know he's only just getting started.

If you want to know how to be successful, Andrew is the perfect example.

But, just because someone is successful today doesn’t mean it was easy.

Andrew has experienced some MAJOR ups-and-downs — including 50% of his employees quitting on day 1.

I've known Andrew for 15 years. Recently, I had the chance to sit down with him and take a deep dive into ways to be successful in life.

You’ll learn…

  • How Andrew went from “obsolete” to super cool geek known all over Silicon Valley
  • Why Andrew thinks some people shouldn’t start a company
  • How Andrew handled 50% of his employees quitting on day 1
  • And tons more...

To give you a small taste, here’s a preview of just one of the many great lessons you’ll learn in the podcast.

How to be successful: Building a VIP network with Andrew Chen

When Andrew first moved to the Bay Area he knew one thing.

He desperately wanted to break into the tech industry and build a billion dollar company.

Before moving to the Bay, Andrew lived in Seattle. He lived a good life.

But he was anxious for a move. In late 2006, the social networking world had exploded in popularity, tech was taking off (again), and tons of exciting new startups were popping up in California.

Andrew asked himself one question…

“Post-bubble, when was the last time Seattle produced a world-changing consumer internet company?”

He couldn’t think of the answer. In his mind, the tech world in Seattle had stopped.

Andrew wanted to surround himself with entrepreneurs who could help push his career to the next level.

As an ambitious twenty-something, Andrew wanted to find people 10x better than him:

  • People who could teach him how to be to grow and improve (in life and business)
  • Brilliant entrepreneurs and businesspeople
  • New friends who could show him how to be successful and rich

Surrounding yourself with other successful people, VIPs, and entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to be successful in life.

Andrew started to look for a new place where people 10x smarter, more accomplished, and more successful than him lived.

He found San Francisco and the Bay Area.

With so many tech startups and entrepreneurs working non-stop, it was a great fit.

“No matter how well you're doing career-wise, in a place like the Bay Area I feel like there's like there's like so many people around you can learn from.”

When Andrew arrived in San Francisco, he knew only a couple of people.

He hustled, networked with VIPs, and within 12 months he was associated with high-profile people like venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and entrepreneur Mitch Kapor.

To keep track of his adventures, Andrew started blogging:

He shared his blog with some people he met, and it started gaining traction among Silicon Valley’s elite.

Andrew kept writing two to three times per week. He wrote about:

  • San Francisco
  • Startups
  • Marketing and growth
  • And lots more

I was one of the first people to meet Andrew when he moved to the Bay Area as a 23-year-old in 2007. Andrew knew he needed to widen his network to achieve his dreams and be successful.

To build his network, Andrew set a goal:

“My first six months in the Bay Area, my goal was to meet five new people per day.”

If you want to learn how to be successful, networking is one of the BEST strategies.

Following up and keeping in touch was also a key part of his strategy.

After meeting someone new, Andrew would send them a thank you email:

  • Highlights from the chat he found interesting
  • Follow-ups and to-dos
  • Request to meet more people

Wanna try the same in your city? Use the below template next time you meet someone new:

Hi Noah,

Quick thanks for meeting with me. You = awesome. 💪

Here are 3 epic lessons I took away from our chat:

  • Look into haptics — great opportunity for biz growth (you mentioned it as the next $1 bn industry… damn!)
  • “To be successful, you need to start with things that DON’T scale” ← Great quote you mentioned
  • Companies to watch for are Mutual Mobile, Onnit, and Backlinko

Super grateful.

I’m curious: Are there 1-2 other people you know I should meet?

Thanks again,

Andrew

With a new list of people to meet, Andrew would send an intro email with 3 key points:

He'd send this to everyone he was introduced to — personalizing to the entrepreneur or VIP he wanted to meet.

Here’s an exact script you can use:

Hi Bob,

Hope you're doing awesome this Tuesday morning!

My good friend Steve Smith said you’re his #1 pick of someone I should meet next.

Plus, I love your blog — especially the article on how to make it big in SF. I’ve been experimenting with Meetup.com events thanks to your inspiration.

Up for a quick phone call or meetup?

Happy to work around your schedule, come to your office, etc.

I’d also be happy to feature you in an upcoming blog post on my site. 🙂

Thanks,

Andrew

P.S. About me: Just moved to SF, write a blog with 2,000 mo visitors, have recently hung out with Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, and more

This was just ONE lesson from Andrew Chen.

Dive deeper into dozens of other stories, pieces of advice, and strategies Andrew has to share...

Get more tips on how to be successful by listening to the full podcast:

  • How Andrew went from “obsolete” to super cool geek known all over Silicon Valley
  • Why Andrew thinks some people shouldn’t start a company
  • How Andrew handled 50% of his employees quitting on day 1
  • And tons more...

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