Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

The Third Door

The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers

By Alex Banayan
18-minute read
Audio available
The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan

The Third Door (2018) tells the tale of an ambitious, 18-year-old college freshman who decided to track down Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Lady Gaga and many more of the world’s most famous people to find out how they got their big break. After hacking the game show The Price is Right and funding his adventure with the winnings, Banayan used his chutzpah and persistence to gain access to the global elite and learn their secrets.

  • Young people considering how to start their careers
  • Anyone needing a little inspiration to take a risk and follow their dreams
  • People interested in how the successful launched their careers

At 18, Alex Banayan took a break from college and spent five years on the journey that led to the publication of The Third Door. An entrepreneur who’s been named one of Forbes’s “30 under 30,” Banayan has written for the Washington Post and TechCrunch and has presented his Third Door framework at business conferences around the world.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from

The Third Door

The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers

By Alex Banayan
  • Read in 18 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 11 key ideas
The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan
Synopsis

The Third Door (2018) tells the tale of an ambitious, 18-year-old college freshman who decided to track down Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Lady Gaga and many more of the world’s most famous people to find out how they got their big break. After hacking the game show The Price is Right and funding his adventure with the winnings, Banayan used his chutzpah and persistence to gain access to the global elite and learn their secrets.

Key idea 1 of 11

Bill Gates inspired the author to go on a quest for the secrets to success.

Alex Banayan was supposed to become a doctor. At least, that was his parents’ plan for him. But at 18 years old, a month into college as a pre-med, he realized this wasn’t the path for him.

One day, while reading a biography of Bill Gates instead of studying, Banayan started wondering. Bill Gates had become the richest man in the world and revolutionized the software industry. But how? How did he go from a regular 18-year-old kid, just like Banayan, to becoming the wealthiest man in the world? Banayan started looking into other successful people: How had Steven Spielberg, a guy who didn’t even get into film school, ended up as one of the most successful directors in history? What did Lady Gaga do to pivot from waiting tables to nailing her first record deal in 2006?

Banayan couldn’t find a book that gave him the answer to these questions, so he decided to write it himself. Why not? He’d arrange interviews with Bill Gates and of other legends, travel across the US to meet with them, write up his discoveries and share them with his entire generation.

Getting the interviews was one thing, getting to them was quite another. The hard part, he quickly realized, would be funding the travel to all those interviews.

But as luck would have it, the game show The Price is Right was being filmed a few miles away. Winning the show was how he’d fund his quest.

Some googling told him that the wackier the behavior at casting, the more chance of getting selected for the show. So when he turned up on set, Banayan hugged janitors, danced with security guards and flirted with old ladies. It worked, and he got selected. He didn’t actually know how to play the game though, so began chatting to his fellow contestants. One kindly old woman, who said she’d been watching for 40 years, took a shine to him. She advised him to always guess low, as guessing too high would get you eliminated.

Hours later, with studio lights shining in his face, Banayan won the final prize – a sailboat, retail price $31,188, which he sold days later for $16,000. His quest could begin.

Key ideas in this title

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.