Dave Lerner

Entrepreneur, Angel, Professor, Host of Venture Studio

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The Great Unbundling of the University

The Great Unbundling of the University

This is the fourth post in my ongoing Series on Technology, Disruption (and Chess).
In my previous post we discussed what I called the Great Unbundling of Venture Capital and it led to a fascinating conversation on Twitter, in the comments, in personal conversations and on various blogs.  People have strong feelings about venture capital and the topic of its evolution, and unbundling definitely touched a nerve with many.
In this post, we’ll examine the phenomenon of an ancient and venerable…

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The Great Unbundling of Venture Capital

The Great Unbundling of Venture Capital

This is the third post in my ongoing Series on Technology, Disruption (and chess).
In the previous post I contrasted the old world of closed or hidden knowledge with the new landscape of open knowledge in which we are living. I also described a framework that I think is helpful for entrepreneurs, investors and technologists as they search for opportunities within sectors that have been or are in the midst of being disrupted by technology/software. In this post we will…

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Open Knowledge: Hunting for the Next Layer

Open Knowledge: Hunting for the Next Layer

This is part of my ongoing Series on Technology, Disruption (and chess).
In the first post of this Series, entitled: Hidden Knowledge, I talked about the phenomenon of software hitting its stride, disrupting and “laying every industry bare” – opening up knowledge and know-how that in the past was hidden and only known to “the few”. If you see me talking a lot about chess throughout this Series, it’s because its evolution through the centuries is a terrific allegory to…

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Zero Becomes One: The Founder’s Journey Begins

Zero Becomes One: The Founder’s Journey Begins

This is my final post  from my ongoing Series on Getting from Zero to One in Your Startup.
The weeks and months have passed. Something strange has happened. You pause to reflect.

You have a product in the hands of the customers with whom you are continually engaging as you iterate this product
Their feedback has been enormously helpful and you have adjusted to it intelligently
These customers may have started paying you for your product or perhaps it is…

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Update on My New Role @Columbia

Update on My New Role @Columbia

If some of you were wondering why I’ve been so slow on email for the last few months or more likely- where the heck I’ve been of late- here’s a quick update:
I’m happy to say I’ve recently been appointed as Director of Entrepreneurship @ Columbia University. Our mission is to take the whole university to the “next level” and establish the conditions wherein startups and the culture of startups are encouraged throughout the university. Obviously there’s a ton involved with…

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Hidden Knowledge: Chess & Tech

Hidden Knowledge: Chess & Tech

This post is part of my new Series on Technology, Disruption (and chess), as well as my Mentorship Series.
The Series is in large part about the phenomenon of technological disruption and its effects and consequences. Throughout I will use the ancient game of chess and its evolution/disruption vis-a-vis technology/software as an allegory. Chess represents an excellent prism through which to study the disruptive effects of technology/software when integrated and/or superimposed upon any discipline.
A few days ago Fred Wilson wrote this…

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How to Make Contacts- The Right Way

How to Make Contacts- The Right Way

This kind of request is almost as clichéd as “Can you help me find a technical co-founder?” which I wrote about recently. This is probably more annoying, though, because the person asking doesn’t have a clue about “giving” and “sharing”—it’s all about their own needs.

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Be A F—ing Pro

Be A F—ing Pro

This is part of my ongoing Series on Entrepreneurial Culture.
I see people in the startup world being careless, screwing up, cutting corners, making excuses, and worse (a lot worse)- all the time. I’m far from perfect just like the next guy and have made my share of mistakes as we all have. Most of the time I see the little things- but sometimes- and that’s when it gets really unfortunate- it’s the big things.
Some little things I see:…

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The Supremacy of Warm Introductions

The Supremacy of Warm Introductions

This is part of my ongoing Series on Entrepreneurial Culture.
In the tech world, we hear the term “warm introductions” bandied about ad nauseum, often from the horse’s mouth—namely, that it’s the best and sometimes the only way for entrepreneurs to meet angel investors and venture capitalists. A so-called warm introduction occurs when person A introduces person B to person C with an express endorsement of person B. Person A is basically telling person C that they are vouching for the character and…

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Cyrus Massoumi, CEO ZocDoc on Venture Studio

Cyrus Massoumi, CEO ZocDoc on Venture Studio

This is part of my Venture Studio Series where you can find tons of interviews with entrepreneurs and investors.
Cyrus Massoumi and ZocDoc have raised $95M since that fateful day when he had a burst eardrum and couldn’t find a doctor to see him right away!
Enjoy his story and insights.

Tweet…

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