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Reading List: The Third Door

David Sherry
2 min read

I saw Alex speak at Mountain Gate.

Well, to back up, I was sitting at the coffee shop on Broadway reading an email from an obscure IOT company when someone came up to me and said,"hey, do you work there?"

I gave him my spiel and came to learn he was in tech.

I told him about Death to Stock, and before I knew it we were grabbing an impromptu Poke bowl across the street. To which I was invited to this entrepreneur-only-speaker series; Mountain Gate.

Now I'm new-ish to LA, and it's tough to find your circle here. I don't get out much and this city is spread out and people are focused on their own grind but...

I decided to get out to Culver City and see what the event was about.

I walk in and say hello to the first person I see. Which turns out to be...

Cal Fussman!

Cal is one of the most dedicated and thoughtful interviewers of our time. He's interviewed everyone, from Kobe Bryant to Al Pacino and Jack Welch.

He's friends with Larry King.

And now he's friends with Alex.

Which brings me back to the point of this all.

Alex and Cal were speaking at the event.

Through some series of events, Cal became Alex's mentor and assistant in writing his first book "The Third Door."

They spent years working on it together.

Everything good takes time, don't forget it.

Alex thought it would take six months to write his book.
Turns out it took six YEARS.

His book is the story of the 18-year-old Alex questioning the traditional path. Finding himself stuck and uninspired, and with added pressure from his parents who are immigrants...

So he had to break out and find out more on his own...

"The day before his freshman year final exams, ALEX BANAYAN hacked The Price Is Right, won a sailboat, sold it, and used the prize money to fund his quest to learn from the world’s most successful people."

And his book is one of the easiest reads of anything I've picked up in the last two years. Immediately you're sucked into his journey. He had help from Cal, no doubt.

But Alex deserves credit for taking the leap and for having the grit to continue.

For DOING something worth talking about.

And this journey of his to find out what it takes to be a success leads him to meet all types of interesting people from Bill Gates, Pitbull and Lady Gaga.

And it's FUNNY.


"Life, business, success… it’s just like a nightclub.

There are always three ways in.

There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where 99 percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in.

The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through.

But what no one tells you is that there is always, always… the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen—there’s always a way."

xx David