July 12, 2024

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Steve Jobs’ Intern, Described As ‘The Guy That Got The Coffee For The Guy That Made Coffee,’ Sold His Own Company To Google For $625 Million — His Advice? Pay Employers To Let You Work For Them, Not Work To Get Paid

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Chet Kapoor, who once described himself as “the guy who got coffee for the guy that made coffee,” is now a pivotal figure in the technology landscape.

He has advice for others who want to follow in his path. He suggests interning but offering to pay to work for admirable people.

Once an intern for Steve Jobs, Kapoor shared insights with Fortune on his journey from a young dreamer to a highly successful entrepreneur.

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Kapoor’s fascination with Jobs and Apple Inc., as detailed in the book “A Little Kingdom,” fueled his ambition to work closely with the iconic tech leader. His move from India to the United States in 1983 and subsequent computer studies laid the groundwork for his eventual internship.

After graduating, Kapoor’s career advanced rapidly. He transitioned from an intern at NeXT Computer to CEO of Gluecode, which he sold to IBM. He then led Apigee Corp., an analytics software company, raising significant funds through an initial public offering (IPO) and eventually selling it to Google for $625 million in 2016. In his current position as CEO of DataStax, Kapoor advises against focusing on priming a business for sale. Instead, he advocates for building a solid business with great people and customers, asserting that success naturally follows.

In his advice to college graduates, Kapoor emphasizes the importance of choosing the right people to work with. He suggests finding a group of people you admire, convincing them of your value and considering paying them to allow you to work alongside them. This approach, he believes, is more beneficial in the long term than traditional educational paths. Kapoor argues that the experience gained from working with smart people pays dividends that are hard to imagine, stating that it’s not the company but the people you work with that define your career​​​​​​.

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2023-12-01 15:22:30

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