June 17, 2021


2 minutes

How you can connect with Peter Thiel (Pay Pal founder) and other high rollers

Kareem Abukhadra

Author, Founder Relentless

I've convinced Peter Thiel (Pay Pal founder), Steve Wozniak's newest cofounder, and executives at companies worth $300MN to meet with me, ask to see my resume, or hire me.

Here are the exact scripts I used for each:

Landing an interview with Peter Thiel

Context: Peter Thiel gets a lot of emails so I decided to cold call him and leave him a voice mail instead. He listened to it and texted me asking to learn more, which lead to an interview.

Voice mail script:

"Hey Peter, My name is Kareem and I’m a Columbia grad, with a McKinsey offer. I want to drop that offer to come work for you. What do I need to do to make that happen?”

Why this worked:

  1. I used stickers like McKinsey and Columbia to signal that I was competent.
  2. I signaled competence by speaking slowly, deepening my voice, and flattening my pitch/intonation (most people vary their pitch when they speak and often heighten it at the end of their sentences. This signals a lack of authority). For more on this, read this.
  3. I ended with a unique, confident, and clear call to action: "What do I need to do to make that happen?"

Pitching Steve Wozniak’s cofounder

Context: Steve Wozniak cofounded a new company with Andrea Castiglione. I cold emailed Andrea to pitch him on consulting work and we ended up chatting a bit on email and telegram. We may work together in the future.


Why this worked:

  1. My subject line was "I'm in awe" which stood out in his busy inbox.
  2. I concisely demonstrated the benefits I could add and made it extremely easy for him to opt in. The more perceived value you can communicate to someone per word, the more likely they are to respond.
  3. I ended with a clear call to action: "Let me know if any sounds interesting!"

Landing an interview (and eventually an offer) with Atrium (worth $300MN at the time)

Context: I was looking for a contract role and reached out to 15-20 people at Atrium. Tim got back to me. We hopped on a call, I interviewed using this strategy, and ultimately landed an offer with Atrium.

LinkedIn message:

What I did well:

  1. I sent this exact message to 15 other decision makers at the company. This maximized my chances of hearing back from someone who could eventually hire me.
  2. I ended with a touch of personalization. This could have been stronger but shows I took the time to look at his profile.


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